Cocco's musical intervention in the US base problems: Traversing a realm of everyday cultural sensibilities in Okinawa

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay intervenes in the political contradiction between the pro-base and anti-base positions in Okinawa while at the same time seeking to provide an alternative to the binary at the level of everyday cultural sensibilities. I will accomplish this task by exploring the activities of charismatic Okinawan musician-artist-activist Cocco. More specifically, locating Cocco's music within-and also outside-a long, complicated genealogy of Okinawan popular music, I will trace how she has grounded the formal political problems of the US military in Okinawa's everyday dilemmas concerning money, memory, and globalization. In my view, Cocco has done so in a way that prods us to move beyond the pro-base/anti-base binary and to navigate an uncharted realm of culture, power, and history. I will also pay attention to how the audience in Okinawa and beyond, as a co-producer of Cocco's music community, has participated in this process. In so doing, I will show how Cocco's music has brought to light possibilities of transforming the existing political inequalities from below, possibilities that may be destined to disappear as soon as they are materialized as an explicit political program. I will articulate these possibilities with reference to what French writer-critic-philosopher Maurice Blanchot (1908-2003) once called the 'unavowable community'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Everyday culture
  • Okinawa
  • Popular music
  • US military

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies

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