From Pacific Resistance to pacific resistance: Expressions of Māʻohi-ness in Contemporary Tahitian Popular Music

Geoffroy Colson


This article investigates the emergence of protest music in Tahiti, understood as voiced feelings of opposition against social or political injustice and processes of cultural standardization, as well as more implicit and “pacific” forms of artistic reactions to such issues. The study identifies a system of overlapping musical “fields” within the Tahitian musical landscape, and discusses key historical, cultural, and artistic factors that have, led in the last decades to the emergence of contemporary Tahitian protest music. It unveils connections between literature, oratory art, and songwriting, and looks into their implications on the work of selected singers-songwriters.

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