Social Issues & Communications

Julio Mendívil: How to be an Antiracist Musician 

Ethnomusicologist Julio Mendívil, Chair of Ethnomusicology at University of Vienna is interviewed about how to fight systematic racism in academia.

Photo: Universität Wien/Barbara Mair

Often, musicians are thought of as super-women and men who have the ability to turn hate into love and transform the coldest, most insensitive heart into the warmest and most feeling (just think about the biblical story of Saul’s violence being pacified by David’s magical serenades).  

If that be the case, then converting a racist mindset into one in which people are “not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” should be a breeze.  

But what if the musician in question is unaware that her/his own perspective is innately, yet unconsciously, racist?  That, ironically, rather than inspiring society to greater harmony, her/his undetected racist outlook strengthens divisive structural racism in society?  

Yes, even gender-conscious ethnomusicologists can be racist, as Julio Mendívil, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Vienna, will tell us.  

Come welcome Julio to our show for a special roundtable about an elite form of racism only found in academia! 

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