Bury my bones but keep my words: The legacy of the dirge singer

The author’s experiences preparing and presenting at the 2013 (Nairobi, Kenya) and 2015 (Brussels, Belgium) SOIMA conferences form the basis for this reflection on the work of custodians safeguarding the sound and image heritage of the past. Drawing inspiration from the artistic reflections of acclaimed master poet Ko Awonoor and accomplished writer Yvonne Owuor on death and life viewed through the prism of the dirge singer, the paper explores what it means to be a facilitator bridging the past and the future through the present. Using performance as a catalyst, she identifies three opportunities open to professional archivists seeking to secure the legacy of the past for generations to come: to create within collections conditions for availability, accessibility and adoptability.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18146/soima2015.1.01

This article is part of the book ‘SOIMA: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage