Rave als daad van verzet | Neerlandicus en raveliefhebber Roel Smeets
Rave als daad van verzet | Neerlandicus en raveliefhebber Roel Smeets

Music Culture as a Form of Protest | Radboud Sounds

***Doornroosje | Purple Stage | 23:25 - 23:50 hrs***

This talk and DJ set are part of Radboud Sounds on Friday 14 June 2024 @ Doornroosje (Nijmegen).

Music provides a space for a counterculture. If you do not feel at home in society, there is usually a music culture that you can embrace. Protest itself on the other hand can actually shape music culture. Rave is a good example of this. Come hear media scholar Melanie Schiller talk about the different ways music culture influences protest. And listen to scholar of Dutch language and culture and rave enthusiast Roel Smeets on rave as resistance to prevailing norms, togetherness and the celebration of futility.

DJ Maarten W takes over after the talks and spins a set full of protest songs.

This talk will be held in Dutch. 

Music culture and protest

Music culture has been strongly intertwined with social resistance throughout history. The Beatles, with their wild music and long hair, would ruin youth, but for young people they were an expression of their resistance to the narrow-mindedness of their parents. 

Sometimes the link between music and protest is very clear, as in the case of protest music. But in other cases, the relationship is less direct, such as when a protest movement appropriates a song that was not made for that purpose. Media scholar Melanie Schiller discusses this further.

Rave as an act of resistance

Protest can conversely shape music culture. One music genre in which resistance to prevailing norms has a pre-eminent part is rave culture. 

Earlier this year, Berlin's techno scene was declared German cultural heritage. The German Heritage Commission praised the famous music and nightlife in the German capital, among other things, as “the soundtrack of optimism after the fall of the wall. In addition, the scene has long been a haven for the LGBT+ community, even in countries where it is not without risk. 

In addition, scholar of Dutch language and culture Roel Smeets sees rave as a form of resistance to the pursuit of productivity and utility in society: raving has no use, it produces nothing. The intoxication of rave creates a sense of belonging and forms a way out of the daily grind. With that, rave music itself hides a protest, and raving is inherently an act of resistance.

Join these talks and reflect further on music culture as protest and then dance on Maarten W's set. 

About the speakers

Roel Smeets is a scholar of Dutch language and culture at Radboud University and a rave enhusiastic. He researches literature and modern culture. 
Melanie Schiller is a media scholar at Radboud University and researches contemporary media culture and especially music culture.

Radboud Sounds | Protest! 

This program is part of Radboud Sounds | Science Festival on Protest with live music, talks, sound bites and more on Friday, June 14, 2024, at Doornroosje, Nijmegen. Scientists from Radboud University will shine their light on the science of protest from different disciplines. Doornroosje programs the live acts. Put together your own program and immerse yourself in science and music. Watch the aftermovie of Radboud Sounds 2023. 

Contact information

Wil je meer weten over het programma van Radboud Sounds, of heb je andere vragen of opmerkingen? Mail dan naar info [at] reflects.ru.nl (info[at]reflects[dot]ru[dot]nl)

Organizational unit
Radboud Reflects