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Music and social transformation: Exploring ambiguous musical practice in a Palestinian refugee camp

Project leader:
Kim Boeskov

Project period:
2015 –

Research centre:


Music pedagogy, Music and health

Fellowship project
Ph.D. in Music Education

How does active music-making become a means of social transformation? This has been a driving question for Kim Boeskov in this study of a community music program in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Through an ethnographic exploration of the Palestinian music program and critical investigations of the dominating conceptions of music and social transformation in the field of music education, Boeskov rethinks music as a means of social change. Boeskov shows how musical participation allows the Palestinian children and youth to experience feelings of belonging, commonality and agency, but also how such experiences are intimately tied to the constitution of specific cultural and social truths that in crucial ways constrain how the young Palestinians are enabled to make sense of their social world.

Contemplating the paradoxes of this particular musical practice and drawing on insights from cultural anthropology, feminist philosophy and critical musicology, Boeskov advances the notion of ambiguous musical practice. As an analytical lens highlighting the ambivalent processes that occur when music is employed as a means of social intervention, this notion extends the ways in which the fields of community music and music education can imagine and conceptualize music’s social significance.

Project leader

Kim Boeskov

Kim Boeskov

Research Fellow

Music Education

Last updated: 13. January 2016