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Aesthetic innovation and the political voice in Let England Shake, Biophilia and Lemonade

Grant number: 18/11470-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Cinema
Principal Investigator:Cecilia Antakly de Mello
Grantee:Fernando Paes de Oliveira Chaves Guimarães
Host Institution: Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The proposed research aims to employ a comparative approach in order to analyse three musical and audiovisual projects idealised and conceived by women artists in the 2010s: Let England Shake, by PJ Harvey; Biophilia, by Björk, both released in 2011; and Lemonade, by Beyoncé, released 2016. These projects share an innovative drive in their daring combination of musical and audiovisual material, pointing towards new horizons of artistic expression in the 21st century. Taking as a starting point the comparative approach, the research will develop from two different angles of approach, which in their turn will engender the two main and interdependent hypotheses to be explored. The first relates to the formal aspects of the projects in question and aims to explore the concept of intermedia and intermediality in the audiovisual and musical media, an impulse that has the potential to generate hybrid or new forms and genres, thus creating new traditions. The second hypothesis builds on the hybrid nature of these works in order to suggest that their intermediality opens a path, within the cultural industry, not only to aesthetic innovation but also to political considerations and articulations, dealing with contemporary social and cultural issues such as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq by the USA and its allies in the 2000s - as well as their ensuing wars in the following years, the 2008 economic crisis, the ongoing environmental crisis, new developments in feminist thought and the issue of blackness.

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