Events Calendar

Music Graduate Colloquium: Emily Abrams Ansari

Friday, February 8, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Talbot College (TC)
Room: 101
graduate colloquium

Presented by Graduate Studies in Music, the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium series includes lectures by distinguished guests, Western faculty members, and senior graduate students on all fields of research and creative activity in music.

Emily Abrams Ansari (Western University)
Individual Resilience; Collective Trauma: Musical Documents of Massacre in Civil War El Salvador (1979 - 92)


Norberto Amaya [Songwriter]
a documentary by Juan Bello (FIMS/Triana Media)

This colloquium will begin with a special screening of a 30-minute documentary by FIMS faculty member Juan Bello. Titled Norberto Amaya [Songwriter], this film was made as part of a cross-disciplinary, SSHRC-funded research project led by FIMS faculty member Prof. Amanda Grzyb. Grzyb's team, of which Prof. Emily Ansari is also a part, is seeking to document the experiences of refugees from El Salvador's Civil War during the 1980s. These peasant farmers from the country's northern rebel regions endured torture and massacres by El Salvador's US-backed army. In this context, folk music became a tool that allowed thecampesinosto both process and to protest what was happening to to them.

Bello's film is an intimate interview of one campesino refugee who became a well-known folk musician, Norberto Amaya. Amaya's songs tell the story of the refugee experience, documenting some of the worst atrocities they experienced at the hands of the nation's army and what they were obliged to endure as refugees in Honduras.

Prof. Ansari's talk, which will follow the film screening, examines one song from the film in detail--a first attempt at studying this largely unexplored musical tradition. This song describes a brutal army massacre of fleeing campesinos at the Lempa River that separates El Salvador and Honduras. Ansari considers what the song can teach us about the Salvadoran refugees' experiences specifically and, more broadly, about human responses to trauma, at both individual and collective levels.

All Colloquium series events take place on selected Fridays in Talbot College 101 at 3:30 pm. (unless otherwise noted). Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend!

For FAQ, parking and other useful patron information visit

End time approximate.

Audrey Yardley-Jones - Graduate Program Assistant
519-661-2111 ext. 85354
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