Colloquium: Luis-Manuel Garcia

Luis-Manuel Garcia

November 19, 2021 | 3:30PM

From the bottoms up: grassroots organizing and nightlife activism among intersectional queer rave collectives

Luis-Manuel Garcia
Educator, Researcher, Writer, Activist, Organizer, DJ
Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham

Seemingly in response to the rapid mainstreaming and concomitant white-/cishetero-washing of popular electronic music, the last decade saw the emergence of numerous rave collectives seeking to re-center their local electronic music scenes around Black and Brown, queer and trans communities. Explicitly political in stance while also committed to local community-building, these collectives are notable for their adoption of principles, practices, and discourses from “grassroots” organizing and activism.

This lecture will provide a survey of these collectives, focusing on Berlin as an international hub for EDM as well as queer nightlife, while also situating this city’s activist rave collectives within emergent translocal networks of like-minded collectives. This talk will consider the impact of broader political shifts in the last decade, such as the intensification of right-wing violence, the vernacularization of activist discourses and practices, and hashtag-focused political movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and #DJsForPalestine—as well as the devastating impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent efforts of these collectives to support and protect the communities they serve.

About Luis-Manuel Garcia

Luis-Manuel Garcia is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham, with previous appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin) and the University of Groningen (NL). His research focuses on urban electronic dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, intimacy, stranger-sociability, embodiment, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting research on “techno tourism” and other forms of musical mobility in Berlin; he has also a forthcoming monograph based on earlier research, entitled Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor (Duke University Press).