Event Title

The Place of Haló in Peacebuilding and Social Reconstruction among the Anlo-Ewe

Start Date

12-1-2012 3:30 PM

End Date

12-1-2012 5:00 PM

Description

The constitution and performance of violence in Anlo-Ewe haló engendered lasting vicious cycles in which individuals and groups continue to re-identify with their traumatic memories in very precarious ways. Indigenous reconciliation rituals and government interventions have proved insufficient in repairing psychological, social, physical and spiritual damages that halo has inflicted on interpersonal and intergroup relations. This paper draws on cumulative field materials on both haló and contemporary Anlo-Ewe performance traditions--in which conflict and violence continue to be celebrated, albeit in veiled ways--to formulate alternative paths to social and interpersonal healing, with focus on the centrality and performance resources and reworked indigenous reconciliation rituals. Theoretical arguments draw on select recent research ideas in applied ethnomusicology and related fields, including notions of “poetics of violence” (McDonald 2009, Whitehead 2004); “religion-violence-nexus” (Basedau and Juan 2008); “metaphysical” and “symbolic” violence (Stewart, 2002; Parkin, 1986; Abink, 1999); Schechner’s notion of “transformation” in relation to performance and social drama (Avorgbedor, 1999); Schechner, 1987), and on the perspective of “ displacement of violent memory is enabling rather than repressive” (Shaw, 2007). A systematic program of action-participatory research involving select communities, reconstructed and new music genres which integrate relevant symbols and reconciliation rituals is outlined.

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Jan 12th, 3:30 PM Jan 12th, 5:00 PM

The Place of Haló in Peacebuilding and Social Reconstruction among the Anlo-Ewe

The constitution and performance of violence in Anlo-Ewe haló engendered lasting vicious cycles in which individuals and groups continue to re-identify with their traumatic memories in very precarious ways. Indigenous reconciliation rituals and government interventions have proved insufficient in repairing psychological, social, physical and spiritual damages that halo has inflicted on interpersonal and intergroup relations. This paper draws on cumulative field materials on both haló and contemporary Anlo-Ewe performance traditions--in which conflict and violence continue to be celebrated, albeit in veiled ways--to formulate alternative paths to social and interpersonal healing, with focus on the centrality and performance resources and reworked indigenous reconciliation rituals. Theoretical arguments draw on select recent research ideas in applied ethnomusicology and related fields, including notions of “poetics of violence” (McDonald 2009, Whitehead 2004); “religion-violence-nexus” (Basedau and Juan 2008); “metaphysical” and “symbolic” violence (Stewart, 2002; Parkin, 1986; Abink, 1999); Schechner’s notion of “transformation” in relation to performance and social drama (Avorgbedor, 1999); Schechner, 1987), and on the perspective of “ displacement of violent memory is enabling rather than repressive” (Shaw, 2007). A systematic program of action-participatory research involving select communities, reconstructed and new music genres which integrate relevant symbols and reconciliation rituals is outlined.