Keele researcher awarded funding to study LGBTI music activism in Latin America

A new study led by Keele University will highlight the role of music in LGBTI resistance and resilience in the face of violence and discrimination in Latin America.

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz, lecturer in ethnomusicology from Keele’s School of Humanities, has been awarded a Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences to research LGBTI musical resistances in Latin America. Dr Montero-Diaz will work with Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez from Colombia’s Universidad Javeriana and other partners from across South America.

The network will aim to develop responses to violence with LGBTI musicians in countries that receive developmental assistance and will draw upon ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology of religion, law, clinical and social psychology, and performance-based activism.

LGBTI youth often use music to protest against violence and discrimination, and compositions, protest music, and therapeutic LGBTI music events serve to increase visibility of these issues and build spaces of psychological healing where people find the courage to face a violent society.

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz (left) and Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez (right)

Dr Montero-Diaz said: “I am thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious GCRF networking grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences and to build on Keele’s past successes. Our pioneering project "Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America" will extend and enhance Keele's global partnerships across Latin America benefitting LGBTI individuals and society by highlighting violence, shaping policies, and strengthening the voices of repressed communities so they can resist on their own terms.”