International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

ICTMD Dialogues 2024: Programme and Abstracts

Session 1: 23 March 2024, 18:00–20:00 (UTC+8)

Publish or Perish? Navigating the Academic Landscape: Alternative Approaches to Research and Publication in Higher Education Institutions [WATCH ON YOUTUBE]

  • Organizer and moderator: Mayco A. Santaella (Malaysia/Argentina)
  • Participants: Graham Marshall and Marcia Ostashewski (Turtle Island/Canada), Urmimala Sarkar (India), Arwin Tan (Philippines), Emaeyak Sylvanus (Nigeria), Kuki Tuiasosopo (American Samoa), Christian Spencer (Chile)
  • Languages used: English
  • Type of presentation: Presentations by each participant followed by a general discussion


In our contemporary academic landscape, the imperative to “Publish or Perish” is ever more pronounced, driven by demands to disseminate knowledge and meet institutional ranking requirements. This pressure is augmented by the evaluation of scholarly output through quantitative measures such as index scores, journal rankings, and citation metrics. While these metrics have proven valuable in certain fields, many scholars question their compatibility with disciplines rooted in the performing arts and humanities. 

This first session of the ICTMD Dialogues 2024 provides a platform to deliberate challenges that researchers face with dissemination through a discussion of alternative approaches to research and publication. Presenting an array of strategies that can be tailored to diverse contexts, the speakers delve into evolving paradigms in higher education institutions, focusing on their impact in disciplines commonly situated within the realm of the performing arts. They invite participants to consider challenges that researchers face in the performing arts and humanities, when it comes to meeting institutional ranking requirements and navigating pressures to publish. For example: how might seasoned academics and early career researchers collaborate to develop approaches and recommendations for thriving in a publication-centric academic environment? Can anglophone discourses and western metrics be reconsidered through decolonization strategies? What steps can educators take to meet the demands of a publication-centric academic environment as well as foster an environment where diverse researchers can flourish creatively and intellectually? What are compelling examples of successful innovative trajectories (e.g. “living” publications, podcasts, performance, collaborative and dialogic ethnography, poems, multilingual presentations)?

Session 2: 20 April 2024, 12:00–14:00 (UTC+1)

Ecofeminism, Ecomusicology and Environmental Degradation in Nigerian Urban and Local Spaces [WATCH ON YOUTUBE]

  • Organizer and moderator: Olusegun Stephen Titus 
  • Participants: Olusegun Stephen Titus, Deborah Temisan Lawal, Olaleye Olufemi, Oyinloloa Oladiipo, and Gbenga Falana (all presenters are from Nigeria) 
  • Languages used: English
  • Type of presentation: Presentations by each participant followed by a general discussion


The panel focuses on environmental narratives from a humanistic point. We examine ecofeminist, ecomusicological, extractivist, and nature narratives in songs. Olusegun Stephen Titus’s central thesis is that women of the Niger Delta have ideas, assumptions, and values about the environment—Indigenous ecological knowledge. These women express their ideas and values in music, and bring them to bear in their efforts to address socio-environmental problems related to natural resource extraction. Female musicians whose works represent the dominant trends in environmental humanities of Niger Delta oil include Madam Felicia Amos, Nneka Egbonu, and Chicoco Rose. Deborah Temisan Lawal examines the engagement of nature in popular songs of Ebenezer Obey and narratives about sustainable feeding and food security. Olaleye Olufemi addresses issues and narratives related to extraction and limestone, as well as pollution and health implications, as expressed in songs in Nigeria. Oyinloloa Oladiipo engages with ecomusicology, environmental musicology, and pandemic in Lagos city. Finally, Gbenga Falana examines narratives of food and feeding, especially Yoruba narratives about names of trees and their ecological importance in current climate change scholarship. This panel employs ethnographic research, musical and textual analysis in the context of ecomusicology, ecofeminism, as well as the concept of “slow violence” and “environmentalism of the poor.” We conclude that music has the capacity to chronicle societal issues relating to women, environmental and food sustainability, including degradative effects of extractivism in Nigeria. The learning we share in this session could be extended to advocacy work for sustainability in other global spaces.

Session 3: 19 October 2024, 8:00–10:00 (UTC-3)

Archives of the Musicultura Group 2004-2023: Reflecting on Long-term Participatory Action Research in Rio de Janeiro [REGISTER]

  • Organizer: Musicultura Group (Contact Person: Fanner Horta)
  • Moderators: Isabela Albor and Pedro Fadel
  • Participants: Maria Luiza Monteiro Abreu Seabra, Gustavo Monção Carneiro Faria, Fanner de Souza Horta, Mateus Sonegheti do Nascimento, and João Gabriel Aguiar da Cunha (all presenters are from Brazil)
  • Languages used: Portuguese and English (subtitles for the video and translators for the Q&A will be provided)
  • Type of presentation: Video presentation by the group (1 hour and 10 minutes), 50 minutes Q&A


This presentation reflects on the collection of documentary materials generated from the activities of the Musicultura Group, which has been conducting participatory action research on music and its social impact in the communities of Maré, Rio de Janeiro, for about twenty years. We discuss the relationship between the documentary material generated in the research and the academic production of the group, resulting in the creation of an archive made available for public access via a website. This archive contains the documentary base in various formats, serving as a potential resource for the community schools. This stage of the work had been on the group's horizon since its early activities (CAMBRIA, 2004). It became a priority due to the escalation of conflicts in Rio de Janeiro's favela areas, particularly from 2019 onwards, and intensified with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020. Under these circumstances, a change of workspace was necessary, shifting from the Community Center for Citizenship Defense (CCDC) in Maré to the Escola de Música da UFRJ in Rio de Janeiro's city centre. Subsequently, activities were carried out to organize, classify, and digitize this collection to make it available through a publicly-accessible virtual archive—the final goal of the project funded by the "Cientistas do Nosso Estado" [scientists from our state] grant from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) in 2021. This online tool is envisioned as a resource associated with the academic production carried out by Musicultura since 2006, contributing simultaneously to academic activities in ethnomusicology, and to knowledge production within the community itself. In this sense, strategies for dialogue with potentially interested local entities, such as public schools, memory centres, and social organizations, will also be addressed. The release of the archive is expected to serve public interest, encompassing personal, activist, artistic, and various other uses beyond direct and strictly academic use (MUSICULTURA, 2021), allowing its utilization for interested groups and individuals as a reference for new possibilities in the production of collective memory, along with the return of the collection and, primarily, the group's activities to its original location.

Session 4: 16 November 2024, 13:00–15:00 (UTC+1)

Music and Dance as Reflexive Action in Times of Environmental, Socio-Political, and Economic Crisis in Brazil, South Africa, Mozambique, and India [REGISTER]

  • Organizer: Brett Pyper 
  • Bilingual moderator: Joaquim Borges A. Gove
  • Participants: 

    • From Brazil: Escola Quilombista / Kilombist School, including GPEDIL (Grupo Dona Ivone Lara), panellists Aline Carmo, Caroline Lucena, Juliana Portuguara, Lucas Assis, Lucas Hermínio, Pedro Mecedo, Ygor Alexandre Guaicurus

    • From Mozambique: RIAMus (Re-valorização, Intervenção e Acção Músicas), panellists Joaquim Borges A. Gove, Micas Orlando Silambo, Luka Mukhavele

    • From South Africa: Stokvel School, including Luthando Arts Academy, the Mamelodi Arts & Culture Forum (MACFO) and Committed Artists For Creative Advancement (CAFCA), panellists Luyanda Sidiya, Mme Manoko Mokgonyane, Mfanufikile Motau, Aubrey Mogase, and Jesse Mogale

    • From South Africa & India: Researchers affiliated with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), panellists Brett Pyper, Kgomotso Moshugi, Nompumelelo Mabuza, Mark Aranha, Cara Stacey, Bronwen Clacherty, and Kristy Stone

  • Languages used: English, Portuguese, and possibly additional South African languages 

  • Type of presentation:  Each of the four 20-minute-long presentations will be a prerecorded and edited video featuring the respective collective members. Subtitles will be provided in English and Portuguese. A limited number of live online speakers will participate in the Q&A session (40 minutes), to be moderated by a panelist who is fluent in both English and Portuguese.


This transnational panel from several countries in the postcolonial South draws together research collectives that have been in dialogue since 2021. Their aim has been to think communally across countries, continents, and oceans. Through online discussions and in-person exchanges, in writing as well as orally/aurally, we have reflected critically and practically on participants’s lived experiences, and knowledge produced academically and communally. We aspire to kinds of decolonial and contracolonial praxis where everyone involved in socially conscious research is deemed to be an “insider,” a community member, whether academic or not. Our panel is inspired by our face-to-face and online meetings thus far, especially the visit of a group from Rio de Janeiro to Johannesburg and Pretoria in 2022, and from Johannesburg (Sebokeng) to Rio de Janeiro in 2023. The panel comprises four collectives. They include, from Brazil, Escola Quilombista / Kilombist School Dandara dos Palmares; from South Africa, Stokvel School, featuring Luthando Arts Academy, the Mamelodi Arts & Culture Forum (MACFO) and Committed Artists For Creative Advancement (CAFCA); from South Africa and India, a group of researchers associated with the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand; and from Mozambique, RIAMus (Re-valorização, Intervenção e Acção Músicas).

Short descriptions of each presentation (speakers as above):
Escola Quilombista / Kilombist School: 
This presentation discusses the confluent transatlantic relationship built between groups from South Africa and Brazil since 2021. We reflect on the consequences – both practical action and theoretical reflection – that we have carried out at the quilombist school Dandara dos Palmares in the Complexo do Alemão, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, and in our academic work, cultural production and resistance. 

Stokvel School, featuring Luthando Arts Academy, the Mamelodi Arts & Culture Forum (MACFO) and Committed Artists For Creative Advancement (CAFCA):
The Stokvel School invokes a social institution through which urbanising black South Africans have long supported one another micro-economically and culturally. Here, the notion of the stokvel serves as a metaphor for redistributive cultural participation that aspires to equitable and balanced coexistence, embodying convivial relationships. Three community-based music, dance and arts education and advocacy groups reflect on our ongoing participation in our transnational conversations and collaborations with local universities.

Researchers affiliated with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits):
With a shared commitment to struggles for Black public spheres in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria, two related research groups interrogate socially engaged models of research as well as practice-led, artistic approaches. The artistic group has collaborated on musical productions presenting historical narratives of slavery and migration in the precolonial Indian Ocean world, performing visuals and archival songs.

From Mozambique: RIAMus (Re-valorização, Intervenção e Acção Músicas):
We focus on actions that can lead to the revaluation of musical arts traditions that have been neglected and/or forgotten as a result of epistemic imperialism and colonialism.