dIScover Seminar: Information Lives in UK DIY Music

Musical notes hanging from a ceiling

Event details

Thursday 14 March 2024


A research seminar by Dr Kirsty Fife, Manchester Metropolitan University. Organised by the Digital Societies Research Group.

Popular and subcultural music heritage is a rapidly expanding and interdisciplinary field of scholarship (Leonard, 2007; Cohen et al., 2014; Roberts, 2014; Baker, 2015; Baker et al., 2018; Istvandity and Cantillon, 2019). This body of work is informed by the increasing representation of popular music in museum programming and exhibitions (Robinson, 2018), as well as long established community-led projects located across the globes. These activities have succeeded in attracting large audience numbers and diversifying museum visitor profiles, cementing the position of popular music within museum holdings (Leonard, 2010).

However, as heritage organisations profit from representation of these histories, grassroots music communities currently active struggle to survive in the face of issues including the regular closure of music venues, the impact of gentrification and the housing crisis, cuts to cultural funding, and the declining value of recorded music in the streaming era. At this point of crisis, what is the value of information and heritage to communities currently active in this field? This presentation will examine the role of information and heritage within UK-based DIY music communities. I will utilise the emergent theoretical framework of critical archival studies to, firstly, examine the production of heritage within this context; and secondly, to identify and analyse community-based information practices which underpin the development of currently active communities.

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