Music and images are defining features of the actual and virtual spaces that are the focus of research cluster two, the mass “prosumption” (simultaneous production and consumption) of which is greatly facilitated by the distributed technology networks, which are the focus of research cluster one. Current transformations in music and media likewise need to be understood in relation to older processes and relationships. African urbanization has also long been a conduit for diverse music traditions and an incubator for musical innovation. How are these practices and traditions shaping, and being shaped by, current mass prosumption of music and visual media in African urban spaces?
Here we are specifically concerned with the ways in which music and visual media matter to the production of actual and virtual urban spaces. How are aesthetics, themes, and vernacular spaces of everyday urban performances taken up in cinema, television, radio, and music? How are they consumed and interpreted in distant but similar urban spaces, and how might that influence people’s experience of proximate spaces in relation to wider African scenarios? What kinds of possibilities exist for community-based curation of music and image? How might such arrangements figure in productions of social memory and counter-memory? By the similar logics, what are the possibilities of music and visual media for explorations of urban spaces and imagining their possible futures? A closely related set of questions relates to music and visual media in the making, maintenance, and work of translocal networks. How might performance, music, and media intersect with difficult and crucially important social conversations? What kinds of connections and functions might music and image have in relation to externally initiated interventions, which may or may not be taken up by communities (e.g. to enhance urban food security, to facilitate urban planning, or to support for curation and artistic production)? Finally, what are the ways in which music and image are used and imagined in relation to advocacy, human rights, and transnational solidarity?