ILAM had the pleasure of having Jocelyn Moon, a Ph D candidate at the University of Washington, Seattle, talk about her research on the repatriation of Matepe recordings in Zimbabwe. Below is an abstract of her talk.
Uploading Matepe: Ethical Issues of Repatriation via Online Networks from the perspective of an Applied Ethnomusicologist
This presentation explores ethical issues of access, agency and representation associated with the growth of online networks focused on matepe, an mbira type of the Sena-Tonga, Buja and Korekore peoples of Northeastern Zimbabwe and adjacent areas across the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. I address the work of cultural tourism specialist Sabine Marschall who asserts that “digital technology and the storage and sharing of data through the Internet are often associated with inclusiveness and the democratisation of knowledge, but these technologies are also associated with exclusion and limitations of access in their own right, especially in developing world contexts” (2014, 127). In light of new approaches to repatriation, revitalization and heritage management that increasingly rely on networked digital media, I draw from this case study to better understand "how media content moves across the cultural landscape" (Jenkins 2013, 3) by way of complex offline-online interactions. Additionally, I investigate how issues of online accessibility interact and influence other limitations to matepe music revitalization and the strategies that musicians use to address these barriers.