The neo-diaspora :examining the subcultural codes of hip-hop and contemporary urban trends in the work of Kudzanai Chiurai and Robin Rhode.

Stirling, Scott (2010) The neo-diaspora :examining the subcultural codes of hip-hop and contemporary urban trends in the work of Kudzanai Chiurai and Robin Rhode. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This thesis is structured around an exploration of the global phenomenon hip-hop. It considers how its far-reaching effects, as a cultural export from the United States,have influenced cultural production in South Africa. The investigation focuses specifically on the work of two visual artists: Zimbabwean born, Johannesburg-based Kudzanai Chiurai, and Cape Town born, Berlin-based Robin Rhode. The introduction familiarises the reader with the two artists and briefly outlines their histories and methods, as well as giving a short history of the development of hip-hop as a subculture from its beginnings in 1970s New York. The first chapter follows this brief introduction to outline some of the parallels, especially concerning race relations, between 1970s America and post-apartheid contemporary South Africa. This comparison aims to highlight similarities that gave rise to the hip-hop phenomenon and which also place South Africa in a prime position to welcome such influences. The second half of the chapter explores how migration theory and issues of diaspora have not only influenced the development of hip-hop, but have also become points of focus for both artists, who are in fact disporans themselves. The second chapter explores ‘ground level’ concerns of everyday life in the city. Issues of crime,gangsterism, politics and activism are characterised as focal elements of Chiurai’s and Rhode’s artwork and also of hip-hop musical content. Inner city contexts in different parts of the globe are compared through a discussion of the art and music that come out of them. This comparison of the philosophical and conceptual content of the art and music is extended, in Chapter three, into a comparison of methods of production, considering how these influence various readings of the artistic output, whether musical or visual. Ideas of authenticity are discussed and finally the focus shifts to explore how both the conceptual and practical concerns of musicians and artists are being shaped by an increasingly ‘globalized’ world. The conclusion explores the challenges that globalization poses to cultural practitioners and seeks to highlight some of the artists’ methods as examples with which to facilitate the growth of a more inclusive global aesthetic.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chiurai, Kudzanai, 1981-, Rhode,Robin, 1976-, Hip-hop, African diaspora, Rap (Music), Art, Modern, Art, South African, Hip-hop dance, South Africa, United states, Influence
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Fine Art
ID Code:2166
Deposited By: Madireng Monyela
Deposited On:07 Nov 2011 09:34
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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