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Lyndon Way (University of Liverpool) - Anti-Populist Populism: Musical Challenges to Trump’s America and Erdoğan’s Turkey

Wednesday 27 April 2022, 4.00PM to 5:30 PM

Speaker(s): Lyndon Way (University of Liverpool)

Attend the seminar in-person, or online via zoom (Meeting ID: 998 9220 5308; Passcode: 390939).

Populism and authoritarian-populist politicians are an unfortunate feature in today’s political landscape. Though this is accepted and even embraced by some, it is also challenged through a number of outlets, including popular music. Populism is a flexible discursive strategy that represents popular interests and values by ‘pretend[ing] to speak’ for the people who are constructed separate and opposed to a powerful elite (Laclau 2005).

This presentation considers how populism is articulated in two hip hop videos that criticise two authoritarian-populist politicians in two political contexts: Trump’s America and Erdoğan’s Turkey. Using Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies, lyrics, images and musical sounds from Eminem’s ‘The Storm’ and Ezhel’s ‘Yarınımız Yok (We have no tomorrow)’ are analysed to reveal how these share similar (and different) discursive strategies. This comparison reveals how oppositional popular music articulates its own brands of populism, both transcending contexts, yet shaped by them.

Location: Music Department, Room D003, Sally Baldwin Buildings, Wentworth Way