Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

The urgency of contemporary post-Soviet popular music: Politics and aesthetics

Fri31  Mar04:15pm(90 mins)
Melville Room
Prof David-Emil Wickström


David-Emil Wickström1; Ann Werner2; Elizaveta Gaufman4; Ekaterina Ganskaya3; Ondrej Daniel5
1 Popakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany;  2 Södertörn University, Sweden;  3 University of Turin, Italy;  4 University of Groningen, Netherlands;  5 Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


Popular music is an important field for symbolic resistance to political power in post-Soviet countries like Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Symbolic uses of popular music in post-Soviet space includes the singing revolution in Estonia, music for support of Ukraine in the ongoing war and protest by rappers like Oxxxymiron and Face in Russia. Still, popular music’s current sounds, lyrics, performance, audiences and production as well as media and cultural contexts are understudied in the post-Soviet space.

This roundtable aims to bring together contributions currently made by scholars to studies of post-Soviet popular music’s political and aesthetic meaning in the 21st century, and provide unique knowledge production about popular music. In times when post-Soviet space is coloured by war, authoritarian and illiberal governments popular music and cultures surrounding it enables circulation of meanings seldom studied as political participation.