Negociaciones (trans)culturales en el Mediterráneo. Inmigración y ‘clandestinidad’ en la música popular española contemporánea


  • Birgit Mertz-Baumgartner LFU



For many decades, Spain has been a country of emigration. Its transformation to a country of immigration (e.g. from Latin America and Africa) is a quite recent phenomenon, which only started in the 1970s due to the economic upturn of the country. From 1991 onwards (signing of the Schengen Agreement) the ‘illegal’ immigration across the Strait of Gibraltar has increasingly been perceived as a problem.
Spanish popular music is a fine seismograph of social changes, such as the increase of immigration. The first musical productions reflecting on (‘illegal’) immigration date from the early 1990s, such as Barricada’s “Oveja negra”, El Chojín’s “Ponte en mi piel” and “Sí, Buana”, or Nach’s “Tierra prometida”. Based on a corpus of 50 songs of different musical styles (rock, rap, world music), this article aims at investigating the key thematic lines in songs about ‘illegal’ immigration: the subalternity of the migratory subject; the fraught relations between the migrant subject (‘I’) and the Spanish ‘you’, relations characterized by prejudice, racism, and exclusion; finally, the perspective of a ‘we’ in a transcultural Spanish society.





Popular Music und Migration: Thema, Kontext, Intention – ein Überblick

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