Steven Feld: Film Screening, "The Story of Por Por"
Mon, February 4, 2013 • 12:00 PM • SAC 5.118
"The Story of Por Por"
A film by Nii Yemo Nunu and Steven Feld, followed by a Q&A with Steven Feld, Anthropology, University of New Mexico
Drawing on their collaborative work with Accra's La Township Drivers Union from 2005 to 2010, Nunu and Feld's film chronicles Ghana's intertwined histories of colonial lorry driving and the invention of Por Por, a music for squeeze-bulb truck horns played uniquely for union driver funerals. The film takes form as a jump-cut Bakhtinian polyphonic truck ride, with twenty-five elder drivers and transport workers narrating and performing the musical chronotope of the road. Nunu and Feld’s previous work together includes the CD, Por Por: Honk Horn Music of Ghana, produced for Smithsonian Folkways Recording in 2007 as a Fiftieth Independent Anniversary gift to Ghana, and the film A Por Por Funeral for Ashirifie, recipient of the Bartok Prize at the Jean Rouch Paris International Festival in 2010.
Steven Feld is a musician, filmmaker, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music at the University of New Mexico. He has worked in Papua New Guinea, Greece, Italy, Japan, and Ghana. In 2012, Duke University Press published his book Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana (companion 3 DVD and 10 CD by VoxLox), and a thirtieth anniversary third edition of Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics, and Song in Kaluli Expression (companion 4 CD by Smithsonian Folkways). He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1991 and in 2002 founded VoxLox Media to publish experimental anthropology-art conversations in audio, video, and print.
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