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Title: Communicating crisis : musical effervescence in South African HIV/AIDS interventions
Author: Walker, Gavin Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 1241
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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South Africa suffers the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world, and despite the widespread institution of programmes by the government, non-governmental organisations and civil society to reduce the risks of exposure, infections continue to grow at a rate of 400,000 per annum (HSRC 2014). Due to the scale of the epidemic, the South African media has become saturated with HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, producing a media clutter that has resulted in widespread indifference, particularly amongst the youth. This dissertation investigates the role of music, and the performing arts more broadly, within HIV/AIDS interventions in South Africa. More specifically, it focuses on the mechanics of individual and collective engagement through music. Applying a reworking of Durkheim's (1912) theory of effervescence, which postulates the importance of human contact in creating environments conducive to heightened emotional states, the dissertation utilises data generated from both qualitative and quantitative research to scrutinise the application of music by three disparate HIV/AIDS campaigns: The Treatment Action Campaign, which mobilised communities through the use of well-known liberation songs to pressure the government into implementing a national anti-retroviral plan in 2004; 'Lucky, the Hero!', a participatory musical theatre production, which capitalises on global pop to persuade young South Africans to know their HIV status, and ZAZI, a mass media women's reproductive health campaign, which deploys audio-visual media in an attempt to catalyse a national discussion regarding women's rights and sexual health. The study concludes that each of the three case studies exhibit a different type of musical effervescence through which they are largely able to energise participants and galvanise support for their specific goal, even if only for a short time. This research aims to contribute to a growing body of arts-driven health and social intervention scholarship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral