Revolutionary songs in a gentrifying city: stylistic change and the economics of salvage in southern Mexico

Andrew Green
2018 Popular Music  
AbstractThis article explores the case of a musician performing pro-Zapatista revolutionary songs in a restaurant in a city in southern Mexico which has undergone rapid gentrification since the turn of the century. It highlights the particular set of constraints on, and possibilities for, musical creativity that emerged in an urban setting in which space was increasingly ordered around the accumulation of rents. Exploring relationships between commercial strategy and musical detail, it examines
more » ... detail, it examines tensions arising around the performance of a revolutionary body of song in such a setting. To conclude, and drawing on the recent work of Anna Tsing, it introduces the notion of musical 'salvage' to make sense of the relationship between protest and commerce. Recognizing the incompleteness of revolutionary songs' translation into the rapidly gentrifying context of San Cristóbal, it is argued here, may help to underline performer agency and creativity.
doi:10.1017/s0261143018000429 fatcat:t6dj7cgnqnesvdi4elbhblzeki