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Music and Genocide

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Edited By Wojciech Klimczyk and Agata Świerzowska

At first glance, no two experiences could be further apart than genocide and music. Yet real, live culture usually goes beyond rational divisions. It is now fairly commonly known that art is not absent from the sites of mass killings. Both victims and prosecutors engage in artistic activities in prisons and camps, as well as at other places where genocides take place. What is the music of genocide? Can the experience of ultimate terror be expressed in music? How does music reflect on genocide? How do we perceive music after genocide? What is music and what is silence in a world marked by mass killings? Is post-genocidal silence really possible or appropriate? The goal of the volume is to reveal and, maybe even to some extent, resolve the most profound dilemma that was expressed by Theodor W. Adorno when he asked «whether it is even permissible for someone who accidentally escaped and by all rights ought to have been murdered, to go on living after Auschwitz.» It is not for the sake of pure curiosity that the relation between music and genocide is examined. In a sense we are all survivors who accidentally escaped genocide. It might have happened to us. It may still happen.
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Contributors

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Ralph Buchenhorst is Senior Research Fellow at the Research Cluster/Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion”, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Currently he holds a DAAD guest professorship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Buchenhorst has taught at several German and international universities. From 2002 to 2006 he was a guest professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Recent publications: The Element of Afterlife: On the Limits of Representing the Shoah in Philosophy, Cultural Studies and the Arts (Munich 2011); Urban Observations: Walter Benjamin and the New Cities (co-editor, Buenos Aires/Bielefeld 2007/2010); Politics of Remembrance: Tensions in Writing and Depicting (co-editor; Mexico-City/Buenos Aires 2007); several articles on memory discourses, aesthetics, and philosophy of art.

Kirsten Dyck earned an Honours BFA in Music (2005) and an MA in Ethnomusicology (2008) at York University in Canada, as well as a PhD in American Studies from Washington State University in the USA (2012). She was a 2011 Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow, and through a 2011-2012 Fulbright fellowship, she conducted doctoral research with the “Music, Conflict and the State” research group at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany. She currently teaches for the History Department at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, and will be a 2014 Cummings Foundation Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Arman Goharinasab graduated with a B.A in Persian music performance from the University of Art (Tehran) in 2009 and now (in 2014) he is...

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