Songs of the Pandemic

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This paper explores virtual common singing in the time of partial lockdown in Denmark through an autoethnographic account. The phenomena of singing together on Danish public service television gained immense popularity as a response to the pandemic as 1/5 of the population tuned in, in many cases, broadcasting themselves while signing. Looking at common singing as an emergent “infrastructure for troubling times” (Berlant 2016) the paper takes up questions of digitally mediated intimacy during the COVID-19 lockdown: exploring who sings, what is sung, and its affective responses (tears, feelings of intimacy, ambivalence), the paper reflects on the particular forms that solidarity take in the face of the pandemic. More than merely reviving vernacular singing traditions, the paper argues that the new sonic comradery forms an affective infrastructure that moves, but also one that is defined by in- and outsides, in- and exclusions, as the tears and feelings brought about by the singing comradery form somatic building blocks for national imageries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropology in Action
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)82-88
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2020


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

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