Roma and Bulgarian Wedding Music: Debating Heritage and Nationalism during Socialism and Postsocialism


Carol Silverman (University of Oregon)

How has Bulgarian wedding music articulated with heritage policy and rising nationalism/xenophobia during Socialism and Postsocialism? In the 1970s this fusion genre of folk, rock, jazz and eastern elements catapulted to fame but was prohibited and excluded from state-sponsored media, schools, and festivals. Today Romani performers are in an ambivalent position; on the one hand, they are employed to "preserve national heritage"; on the other hand, they face systematic racism, state level evictions, harassment, and persecution. Plovdiv, a city with one of the largest Romani neighborhoods was the EU 2019 culture capital yet its implementation gave little attention to Roma. Roma musicians are also becoming more politicized.

Part of 14-01 Heritage Studies and Folkloristics, Part II: Nationalism, Class, and Heritage Policies, Monday, October 18, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm