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Trance and visibility at dawn: racial dynamics in Goa's rave scene

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2005
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Journal number5
Volume6
Pages707-721
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The geography of music has recently turned to questions of embodiment and materiality to account for the sensuous specificity of music. Extending this work, this article emphasizes the constitutive work that embodied experience of music and space does for social differences such as race and gender. It criticizes what is perceived as a limited conception of embodiment in non-representational theory. Using ethnographic evidence from the rave tourism scene in Goa, India, it is argued that precisely during the scene's most mystical and hedonistic moments (what will be called the ‘morning phase'), racial dynamics are at their starkest. It is crucial to understand that racial difference is emergent and not automatic. The article then suggests a Deleuzian musicology which conceives music not as form, language or ideology, but as force. Accounting for the richness of musical materiality involves examining the networks of power and inequality through which it necessarily operates.