Empowering the disempowered: the dùndún drumming tradition in a British prison

Eluyefa, D. (2015) Empowering the disempowered: the dùndún drumming tradition in a British prison. Applied Theatre Research, 3 (3). pp. 271-283. ISSN 2049-3010

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There are many reasons why people lose their confidence, including social discrimination and/or lack of love. As a result of the social practice and value system, some people also experience deprivation within society (like people incarcerated in prison), leading to loss of personal identity and power. The theory of empowerment has been used by many scholars to deal with the issues of the powerlessness of ethnic minority groups who experience denigration (Collins 1990). This article focuses on four workshops that took place in a prison in Hampshire, England, where I explored drumming as an empowering activity using the dùndún (the ‘talking drums’), a set of a double-headed hourglass drums used by the Yorùbá, an ethnic group in Nigeria. The workshops gave participants the opportunity to express themselves freely within the British prison system. The names of the people have been anonymized. I introduce a theory called ‘Nonsense Theory’, which I coined and explored with the workshop participants. The main theme is empowerment, with a focus also on control, self-esteem, tradition and identity. The article analyses the concept of empowerment within the dùndún drumming tradition, and explores why it might have resonance in a prison.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by Intellect. All rights reserved. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Dennis Eluyefa
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 14:19
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/103

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