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date: 21 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For decades, ethnomusicologists, folklorists, anthropologists, and a variety of cultural institutions such as audiovisual archives and museums have been returning parts of their collections to the communities from which they were originally obtained. Starting with a definition of repatriation, this chapter describes some of the attributes of successful repatriation projects. They usually require a highly motivated individual or group within the community, an intermediary to help locate and obtain the recordings, and a funding agency for the effective return of the music to circulation within the community. Different kinds of repatriation are described using examples from the author’s research in Brazil and projects in Australia, India, and the United States. Projects to return music to local circulation have been greatly facilitated by changes in communications technologies and digital recording, and by profound changes in research ethics and the relations between researchers and documentarians and the communities in which they work. Despite these improvements, challenges remain.

Keywords: audiovisual archive, repatriation, successful repatriation, technology, ethics, Repatriation Australia, ARCE, Suyá/Kĩsêdjê

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