Looking through two lenses: reflections on transnational and translocal dimensions in Marseille-based popular music relating to the Comoros

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


This article starts from the observation that whenever new concepts become popular, they are applied to more and more contexts until they have become so inclusive that they risk losing their analytical power. This tendency also shapes the relationship between the concepts of transnationality and translocality, which is discussed here with a focus on popular music. More precisely, this article draws on research on two musical actors who are both based in the French city of Marseilles and who both relate to the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros: the internationally acclaimed rapper Soprano and the group Afropa, who play Afrofolk on the margins of the music scene in Marseilles. Besides the different levels of success they experience and the distinct musical genres they embody, these musicians represent different generations of a Franco-Comorian diaspora'. Their musical oeuvre, motivations and ambitions, as well as the perception of their music by different audiences, will be discussed with respect to the notions of transnationalism and translocality that become apparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-557
Number of pages16
JournalIdentities.Global Studies in Culture and Power
Volume 25
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 504022 Music sociology
  • 602001 African studies
  • 605004 Cultural studies


  • transnationalism
  • translocality
  • Popular music
  • Comoros
  • Marseille
  • Transnationalism
  • Marseilles
  • popular music

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