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ANC-galan i Götegorg 1985 : En analys av sången Soweto som politisk mobilisering

by Bjelkenbrant, Pernilla

Abstract (Summary)
ABSTRACTBjelkenbrant, Pernilla, 2006: ANC-galan i Göteborg 1985: en analys av sången Soweto som politisk mobilisering (The ANC gala in Gothenburg in 1985: an analysis of the song Soweto as a means of political mobilisation)The political scientists Abdul Karim Bangura, Ove Nordenmark and Tor Sellström, all believe that there, during the 1980s, existed a strong and unified “Swedish” attitude against the South African apartheid system, and Sellström points out that this position had a strong anchorage in the ANC gala in Gothenburg in 1985. Over the past few years, singing has been identified as playing a crucial role in the struggle against apartheid. The aim of this study is twofold: firstly it presents a comprehensive discussion on how song is generally considered a tool of political mobilisation, secondly it discusses how that process can be applied to the ANC-gala. Consequently, the theoretical discussion constitutes the initial part of the study. The purpose of this study is to explore how Mikael Wiehe’s lyrics Soweto, as a representative of the songs that were performed during the gala, mobilised support for the ANC within as well as outside the Swedish solidarity movement, and how Soweto contributed to creating and consolidating a unified attitude towards apartheid – an attitude that went beyond those different opinions on apartheid that existed in the Swedish debate.Starting out from the work of the historians Kim Salomon and Håkan Thörn, as well as the political scientist Immanuel Wallerstein, the study shows how the ANC-gala relates to the Swedish solidarity movement and the African National Congress (ANC). Explaining the gala as an area of definition processes and social interaction within which there are constantly created or defined more or less embracing identities, and thereby regarding the gala a collective sympathiser with the potential to strengthen the opinion for the Swedish solidarity work against apartheid, it is possible, when adding the political scientist Mark Mattern’s study, Acting in Concert: Music, Community, and Political Action, to create the theoretical framework needed to accomplish the second part of the study.In the initial study it is stated that song mobilises politically by telling stories about the past. Song works as a communicator and creator of identity as the author of a song integrates in it common experiences. To explore Soweto from that point of view there are developed a few questions that together provides us with the answers to what history Soweto presents, and how that history is being presented.In the latter part of the study it is stated that it is possible for a number of groups to identify with the past that is being presented in Soweto, and even though it appears how the song has the capacity to split common identities – that it debates divergent interests – it also becomes evident how it brings those same groups together in their various strives for an existence in peace. The reason for this seems to be the fact that Soweto presents universal concepts that everybody, no matter what affiliation or extent of knowledge in the apartheid issue, can relate to. This way, Soweto appeals to advocates as well as opponents of apartheid, in South Africa as well as in Sweden.
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School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:04/13/2007

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