Hyper-visibility and under-representation: inclusivity, diversity, and the alternative music scene in Melbourne
AuthorD'Cruz Barnes, Isobel Irene
AffiliationMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
Document TypeHonours thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Isobel Irene D'Cruz Barnes
This ethnographic study documents the lived experience of People of Colour (PoC) making alternative and punk music in Melbourne, Australia. Exploring local discourse on cultural diversity, inclusivity and racial difference, I offer previously undocumented Australian perspectives on race and popular music. The study traces issues of whiteness, anti-racism and punk in Australia down to three key components: subculture, genre and capital. Through formal, semi-structured interviews, the study asks how notions of cultural diversity impact alternative music scenes. I argue that PoC in these scenes experience race-based exclusion, both a result of the longstanding erasure of PoC from written histories of Western punk, combined with Australia’s specific position as a white multicultural, settler-colonial nation. In challenging the notion of punk as a white musical tradition, and recognising the specific conditions that foster racism in Australian music scenes, my informants and I discuss how anti-racist values may be meaningfully embodied in local music contexts.
Keywordscritical race studies; punk; Melbourne; Australia; whiteness; race; alternative; scenes
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