Songs of the Pandemic

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Abstract

This article explores virtual common singing in the time of partial lockdown in Denmark through an auto-ethnographic account. The phenomenon of singing together on Danish public service television gained immense popularity as a response to the pandemic as one-fifth of the population tuned in, in many cases broadcasting themselves while signing. Looking at common singing as an emergent ‘infrastructure for troubling times’, this article takes up questions of digitally mediated intimacy during the COVID-19 lockdown, exploring who sings, what is sung, and the affective responses (tears, feelings of intimacy, ambivalence) to the singing. More than merely reviving vernacular singing traditions, the article argues, this new-found sonic comradery forms not only an affective infrastructure that moves people to tears but also somatic building blocks for national imageries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropology in Action
Volume27
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)82-86
Number of pages5
ISSN0967-201X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Denmark
  • Community singing
  • Intimacy
  • Infrastructure
  • Nationalism
  • Tears
  • Virtual common singing

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