Free online event covers subject of music entering global stage during pandemic

With a surge in creativity during the global pandemic, an online event presented by University of Chester and German academics will look at the rise of songs and dance challenges reacting to the coronavirus in French, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking cultures.

Timo Obergöker, Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Chester, will be joined by Dr Marcel Vejmelka, Reader in Spanish and Portuguese Studies from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), for the free seminar on Tuesday February 16, 2021.

‘Coronavirus and Pop Culture in French, Spanish and Portuguese-Speaking Cultures, A Transnational Approach’ runs from 2.30pm to 4pm.

Prof Obergöker said: “From Quédate in casa (Stay at home – considered the motto of 2020), and Resistiré in Spain (the song then travelled around the world) to La tendresse and Et demain? in France, and Color esperanza in Latin America, since the beginning of the lockdown period in March last year we have seen an impressive rise of songs reacting to an entirely new situation.

“From the Portuguese origins of Cristóvam’s Tutto andrà bene / Vai ficar tudo bem (one of the first internationally ‘trending’ confinement songs) to the Angolan dancers’ Fenómenos do Semba who globally boosted the song Jerusalema – and thousands of dance challenges, a series of songs entered the global stage.

“These can be examined in multiple ways and the videos will be drawn upon during the talks to hopefully stimulate an interesting discussion on pop, coronavirus, circulation of texts and globalisation.”

All are welcome to attend the free event. People just need to register at https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/23590 in advance to receive the online event joining link.

The seminar is run via the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) which supports, promotes and facilitates research in Modern Languages (primarily French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). It enables researchers to collaborate in a wide range of national and international networks and activities, to engage in innovative research and to demonstrate research value to the wider public.