Turbo-folk is a vital part of post-Yugoslav urban life in Vienna. It is also subject to a »cultural translation« affecting both the music and the meanings ascribed to it. Starting from the everyday praxis of its listeners, this lecture explores the manifold meanings of turbo-folk and its musical evolution in relation to the category of »place«.
Strolling along Ottakringer Straße, a busy street on the fringes of Vienna, you inevitably encounter the strong beats and ardent vocals of turbo-folk. Originating in 1990s’ Yugoslavia, this music genre was widely perceived as a cultural expression of the Milošević regime. However, the popularity of the music was never confined to the Balkan peninsula, but promoted by emigrants all over the world. A pilot study conducted in 2021 investigated why turbo-folk remains so popular among Viennese residents with origins in the Balkan region. This lecture presents its findings as well as questions emerging from them and directions for the follow-up project. Given that the meanings ascribed to turbo-folk in today’s Vienna differ greatly from those assigned to the music in its time and place of origin, Lena Dražić focusses on the category of place and its connections with the meanings of turbo-folk. At the same time, research will target contemporary musical evolutions of turbo-folk, witnessing the differentiation of genre over time.
Lena Dražić has been a research associate, lecturer and project employee at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2022, she was an Austrian Academy of Sciences fellow. After concluding her Ph.D. on the political implications of the discourse on »new music«, she is now researching the meanings of the globalised popular music genre »turbo-folk« in Vienna and Belgrade. Currently she is City of Vienna/IFK_Fellow.
THE LECTURE WILL BE HYBRID.
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