International Conference “R-Existence”


International conference R-Existence: Music as a tool of resistance and inspiration in the contexts of political oppression in Europe at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, September 29–30, 2023.

The conference is organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, at Kaunas University of Technology and by Forum Voix Etouffees, Strasbourg, within the project Musique, Guerre et Paix en Europe 1922–2022, funded by the European Commission.

“We shall not be moved”; “We shall overcome”. The titles of these two protest songs made popular by performers like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Louis Armstrong and many others, perfectly incapsulate the two main roles that music, as well as other arts, can play in support of any community afflicted by an aggressive and oppressive regime. “We shall not be moved” is the resistance: we shall not give up, we shall not surrender to the bully, we shall not abandon the (metaphorical or actual) battlefield. “We shall overcome” is the inspiration: we shall eventually win, we shall restore democracy and freedom and indeed we shall still “exist”.

In the context of oppressions and aggressions that are happening today (e.g., the attack on Ukraine) and that have happened throughout Europe’s recent history from the two World Wars onwards, the conference “R-Existence” aims at a multi- and interdisciplinary understanding of musical repertoires and events generated for any purpose related to resistance and inspiration, including political protest, emotional coping, historical memory, social warning, identity restoration and else. Contributions from any musical area are welcome: classical, popular, folk, jazz, etc.

Finally, as a multi- and interdisciplinary platform, “R-existence” welcomes not only a strictly-musicological perspective, but also approaches from disciplines like, among others, political sciences, sociology, artistic research, semiotics, literary theory, cultural studies.

We kindly invite proposals for conference papers in line with but not limited to the topics of:

  • Music and current forms of resistance
  • Music and forms of resistance in the last 100 years
  • Music and oppressive regimes in Europe
  • Music in the context of persecutions and genocides
  • Music and forms of ethnic discrimination
  • Music and censorship
  • Music and political/cultural events of resistance
  • Music and artistic movements of resistance
  • Music and political ideologies
  • Music as soft power
  • Music and war

The conference is organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, at Kaunas University of Technology and by Forum Voix Etouffees, Strasbourg, within the project Musique, Guerre et Paix en Europe 1922-2022, funded by the European Commission (“Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values” Programme – CERV-2022, call “European Remembrance”).  The conference will take place in Kaunas, Lithuania, in the premises of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, in A. Mickevičiaus street 37, easily accessible with both private and public transportation, and close to many accommodation and catering facilities.

The conference participation is free of charge, as well as two coffee breaks per day and the social events organized in the two days.
Travel, meals and accommodation expenses are instead responsibility of the participants.

Deadline for abstract submission – 30th of July.

More information and abstract submission on the conference website:

September 29 d. 08:00 - September 30 d. 18:00

KTU Faculty of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

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