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Rap Music, Censorship, Abolitionism and Radical Listening with Wanda Canton

Rap Music, Censorship, Abolitionism and Radical Listening with Wanda Canton

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Event Listing Info:

Event categories

7:00 PM

Location / Link:

Artist Residence Boutique Hotel

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Discussion with Wanda Canton about Rap music, censorship, abolitionism and radical listening.

Rap music has often been heard in conjunction with issues of policing and criminality. Sometimes as a theme addressed within the music, or critically engaged with by its artists, but also in the respect that rap music is itself policed and criminalised.

In this session, we will be talking with Wanda Canton about the criminalisation and policing of rap music and ways of critically thinking through and responding to this. Wanda Canton is a multi-talented artist, podcaster, researcher, consultant and facilitator, who is currently doing a PhD at the University of Brighton on knife crime, the criminalisation of UK Drill, as well as exploring abolitionist and decolonial alternatives to this criminalisation. Canton’s work asks what can be heard, who has the right to expression and a platform, and shifts between questions concerning the police and the criminal justice system and questions of policing, including, for example, policing and censorship on social media platforms. Responding to the way that artists are denied a voice — “social death” as she calls it — Canton develops a practice of radical listening that challenges the way we receive and engage with music. As she says in a recent video,

“Listening can become radical then, not just by listening to the noise or alerting from another, but to listen to ourselves, to ask why do I hear this sound in such a way, what memories, narratives and assumptions does it tap into, and how is it informing my response.”

Putting this into practice, Canton also has a podcast called Three Ain’t a Crowd, where she interviews a range of musicians and artists. She recently held an inaugural conference on Sonic Rebellions: Sound and Social Justice at the University of Brighton. She also works as a facilitator and mental health practitioner exploring how music, sound, speech and performance can enhance mental health and social cohesion. She has worked across community projects, statutory and charitable services including: forensic psychiatric hospitals, prisoners support services, domestic violence charities, community mental health day centres, mental health & well-being community events and projects, emergency services frontline staff and well-being and arts festivals. All of this attests to the way, Wanda Canton sees philosophy and research, not merely as abstracted detached ideas, but “something that is happening now,” something urgent to be engaged with, and thought through, inside and outside of academia.

This session will be run as part of the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group’s meetup which happens every three weeks on a Tuesday. The sessions are free and open to everyone. For our upcoming sessions from January to June, see here.

The online session will also take place via Zoom. The meeting ID is 880 7230 1654. The passcode is “125728”.

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