Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz awarded a Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Grant

Dr Fiorella Montero-Diaz (Music and Music Technology – 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.

The project is titled "Sounding a Queer Rebellion: LGBTI Musical Resistances in Latin America". Dr Montero-Diaz is Principal Investigator for the Network and Dr Luis Gabriel Mesa Martinez from the Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) is the Lead International Investigator.

Drawing on ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology of religion, law, clinical and social psychology, and performance-based activism, this Network aims to develop responses to violence with LGBTI musicians in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

In Latin America and the Caribbean four LGBTI people were murdered every day between 2014 and 2019. This statistic exemplifies the violent backlash to recent gains in LGBTI rights in the region. Misinformed anti-rights campaigns attacking a perceived ‘gay agenda’ have helped socially conservative Evangelical and Pentecostal-backed governments to power, cementing LGBTI marginalisation.

LGBTI youth protest against violence and discrimination with music. Compositions, audio-visual creations, protest music at demonstrations, and therapeutic LGBTI music events serve to represent, visibilise and build communities. Music spaces become communities of psychological healing where subversive voices find themselves and the power to face a violent society.

This pioneering network is urgent as it enables academia and civil society to join forces in order to: counter misinformation; and drive for implementation of LGBTI rights, and ensure protection of LGBTI communities. This network of scholars, practitioners and activists, predominately identifying as LGBTI, will benefit LGBTI individuals and society by visibilising violence, shaping policies, and strengthening voices of repressed communities so they can resist on their own terms.

This award confirms Keele University’s track record of success in securing GCRF funds, extends and enhances Keele's global partnerships across Latin America, and bolsters Dr Montero-Diaz’s profile to secure further grants from the GCRF programme.

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