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50th International Ballad Conference
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5/24/2020 to 5/29/2020
When: Sunday, May 24, 2020
Where: Tiranë
Contact: Kommission für Volksdichtung

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The conference will start in Tiranë (Tirana), Albania before moving to Gjirokastër (Gjirokastra), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The older part of Gjirokastër is a well-preserved Ottoman style town with a fortress overlooking the entire city and old wooden houses built against the slopes. A National Folk Festival will be hosted there following the conference. The conference will run from May 24–9, 2020.

The conference will focus on the complex relationships between the singer-creator-performer and the audience. The conference will explore how this relationship is developed in several dimensions:

  • What is the role of audience?
  • What kind of transformations derive from the audience itself?
  • How are the roles of singer/creator and audience delineated or shaped?
  • How does the relationship change in modern times and in the context of developing technologies?

The conference hopes to explore how ballads and other folk songs, as part of the larger world of folklore, are treated in former socialist countries, particularly in the second half of the twentieth century. How has their transformation influenced audiences? How have expectations of the genre—creation, transmission, process—changed over time? How is this heritage seen in our culture today? To what extent can we consider latter-day creativity and its products to be part of folklore and tradition? What has happened to the older traditions in this context?

Proposals for presentations are being accepted until December 6. For more information, see the AFS Review

For more information on the conference, see 2020 Conference

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