September 19, 2017
“From Song to Street” examines the circulation and reception of a song that catalyzed a youth movement and widespread protest in 2011 Portugal.
Under what circumstances does song prompt people to take to the streets? Under what circumstances (aesthetic, sociopolitical, sensory, sonic, musical, and technological) might song move from the concert hall, the intimacy of the headphones, the cell phone, or the radio, to the streets, to both fuel and to justify a protest in motion? “From Song to Street” examines the circulation and reception of a song that catalyzed a youth movement and widespread protest in 2011 Portugal. Drawing on my long term ethnographic investments in Portugal alongside critical analyses of audio-visual media, I investigate the efficacy of this song for shifting a register of political engagement and for affecting narratives of return to an earlier (revolutionary) moment of public sphere assertion.