Lecture: Damir Imamović: Gendering Traditional Music. A Case of The Bosnian Sevdah, 06.06.2023, Vienna and virtual space

Institute for Habsburg and Balkan Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences (Web)

Time: Di., 06.06.2023, 18:00 Uhr
Venue: IOG, Campus der Univ. Wien, 1090 Wien, Spitalg. 2, Hof 3 and virtual space

Several modern music genres in the region of South-East Europe were developed in the processes of modernization of an older oral tradition. In order to explore the role that gender, and sexuality played in those processes, Damir surveys one of the most popular among them – sevdah or sevdalinka, a particular genre of love songs originating from the area of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina. His analysis points to the importance of traditional gender roles in formulating distinct genres within the continuum of oral poetry of the South-Slavs. Starting from the work of early songs‘ compilers, editors and national activists of the 19th Century, he traces the long-lasting influence of their ideas on gender and sexuality for subsequent researchers and performers.

Damir Imamović is a professional sevdah music singer and educator. Upon graduating from the Philosophy and Sociology department of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Univ. of Sarajevo in 2003, he has been recording and performing sevdah music, and conducted a number of workshops in which he discusses the history of traditional music from Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as its performing practices. Damir Imamović is the author of the first public history of the genre, which was published by Vrijeme Zenica in 2016 under the title “Sevdah.” He also curated the multimedia exhibition “Sevdah, the art of freedom” at the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015. In 2022, he finished his Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology with a thesis titled “20th Century Saz Scene in Sarajevo”, and is currently a doctoral student in ethnomusicology at The Music Academy, Univ. of Sarajevo.

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