UDE ALUS Symposium 2019 Abstracts

Christiane Go├čen (UDE) Narco Rap: The Musical Reflection of Simultaneity in Mexican Border Towns

Since 2006, Mexican cities along the US-border have been facing a drug war that causes an ever-increasing number of deaths. The military is fighting drug cartels, which in turn fight for supremacy among themselves. Amid these civil war-like circumstances, civilians carry on living in their daily routines, which leads to a special case of simultaneity. Narco Rap, a new music genre that has developed during the Mexican drug war, reflects this simultaneity. On the one hand, Narco Rap is used by drug cartels as a propaganda tool to glorify criminal acts and claiming power over territories, the so-called plazas, along the border. On the other hand, in their songs Narco Rappers represent the civilians’ experience of living in border cities shaken by mundane violence and atrocities. In this presentation, I will offer an overview of the situation Mexico is experiencing and demonstrate how Narco Rap depicts both the sides of perpetrators and victims. Moreover, I will analyse how Narco Rap suggests connecting these two layers of the drug war in Mexican border cities.

Christiane Goßen is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Institute of Romance Language and Literature) and holds an MPhil degree from the University of Cambridge (Centre of Latin American Studies). Her research interests lie in Latin American cultural studies focussing on Argentina and Mexico.