NAGA BUAH: An Ecofeminist Music Project by Kodi Twiner
This research is a creative exploration of ecofeminism in response to the challenges of the Anthropocene. Taking influence from previous political and feminist musicians, the research brings ecofeminism into dialogue with artistic practice, in efforts to catalyse the positive forces of a creative Anthropocene through liberation of women and nature.
This research is timely and important. Environmental concerns are more urgent than ever, with scientists describing a new geological age, the Anthropocene, which threatens human survival (Steffen et al. 2011).
In the twenty-first century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet’s capability to absorb our wastes...The advent of the Anthropocene, the time interval in which human activities now rival global geophysical processes, suggests that we need to fundamentally alter our relationship with the planet we inhabit...The need to achieve effective planetary stewardship is urgent (Steffen et al. 2011, p. 739).
So, how can humans fundamentally alter their relationship with the planet, to achieve this urgent planetary stewardship? Ecofeminist philosophy suggests that a destructive Anthropocene is not the only future, and that humans need to reconnect with their organic embedded-ness, as part of nature and it’s biodiversity (Mies & Shiva 2014).
We need to get grounded again – in the Earth, her diversity, and her living processes – and unleash the positive forces of a creative Anthropocene (Mies & Shiva 2014, Loc. 344/7288).
This research contributes to this creative Anthropocene through creative arts practice. This brings ecofeminism out of its traditional realms of academia and activism (Phillips & Rumens 2016, p. 3) and into new dialogue with music practice.
This research follows in a long tradition of music as creative political expression. I approach this research as a multidisciplinary artist, within the artistic research paradigm. My artistic practice, which draws on intersecting discussions of ecofeminism, womens marginalisation, and music as political expression, is the focus of this honours project.
Chapter 2 reviews diverse sources of literature addressing ecofeminism, the mind/body split, marginalisation of women and music as political expression. I contextualise my creative components by analysing works from Bjork, Solange, Esperanza Spalding, Laurie Anderson and Pussy Riot. The creative components are constructed through methods of songwriting, zine-ing and conceptualisation of a multidisciplinary performance as discussed under Methodology in Chapter 3. The nine original songs and the zine are discussed and analysed in Chapter 4. It should be noted that the delivery of the live performance art sits outside the scope of this research project and its performance is not included in this submission. The conceptualisation has been realised through aesthetic, content, planning and budget, attached in section 4.3 and in Appendix E. The nine songs are presented as partial scores (Appendix A), lead sheets (Appendix A) and demo tracks attached as MP3 files on a USB stick (Appendix B). Samples of the zine have been integrated throughout this thesis, are discussed in section 4.2, and has been attached in it’s entirety as Appendix C on a USB stick. Chapter 5 concludes this thesis, reflects on the research process, creative outputs and discusses implications and direction for further research on this topic.
This Honours research is the first phase of NAGA BUAH, which is a broader creative project, requiring long-term planning, resources and implementation, of which the majority lies beyond the parameters an Honours research project. This Honours project has provided a comprehensive and formidable foundation for the creation and conceptualisation of NAGA BUAH, which throughout the course of my research, I have discerned will be most effectively presented as a performance art piece, incorporating the research outputs of this research.