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Research grant awarded to Dr Denis Crowdy

Page last published: 29 Jul 2015

Macquarie University and the Faculty of Arts would like to congratulate Dr Denis Crowdy, who was recently awarded a research grant under the Linkage Projects scheme for 2015.

The grant includes $215,378 funding for a duration of 3 years for the project "Music, Mobile Phones and Community Justice in Melanesia". 

The project seeks to understand how communities mobilise in Melanesia through the integration of digital media, mobile phones and music. Melanesia consists of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and West Papua.

Community integration and cohesion has long been connected to music as a vital medium in the region. 

Dr Crowdy explains, "Music is a critical part of social justice movements and communication in Melanesia. Recently, mobile phones have become central tools for sharing and engaging with music." 

This project plans to draw on new uses of mobile phones for creating, disseminating and listening to music to transform social, cultural and industrial practices in Melanesia. 

"We seek to understand how Melanesians mobilise through music using new technology; we will then analyse and apply this through the development and testing of more relevant software for such communities, and foster creative networks around these apps and ideas" says Dr Crowdy. 

Dr Crowdy is leading the team, however he would like to acknowledge social justice scholar Camellia Webb-Gannon (UWS) who "initiated the idea of putting together a team of ethnomusicologists, social justice scholars and activists, a digital ethnographer and partner NGOs to connect these elements." 

Other researchers involved with the project include: Heather Horst (RMIT), Michael Webb (USyd), Jason MacLeod (Further Arts, Vanuatu), David Bridie (Wantok Music Foundation), Thomas Dick (Wantok Music Foundation) and Monika Stern (National Centre for Scientific Research, France). 

We wish Dr Crowdy and his team all the best with the project and look forward to seeing the results in a few years time.