To Paris With Love

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I went to Paris to look at the African American Exodus to Paris from 1900-1950. However, with every day walking around the romantic streets of San Michel, reading books about the African American experience in Paris at the Jardin du Luxembourg, and having conversations with history buffs and street musicians my idea slowly but surely changed.

With every meeting and with every tour more questions emerged. I initially wanted to pluck two people from each discipline (arts, education, athletics, etc) and examine why they came to Paris. Then I narrowed the study to musicians. However, I started to fall in love with the idea of the musician community and remembering the greats through playing their standard music. However, I realized that this was too macro a topic for the course. So, I went back to the drawing board. I sifted through my notes and my reflections and personal journal entries.

I went back to my first time in Montmartre and then my various tours. I discovered that there was something missing. The physical memory manifested in monuments and signs. After discussing this issue with people, I received the answer that monuments are reserved for citizens of Paris. After mulling that idea over in my mind, I got it. I understood the sacred space that is Paris, however this study made me want to think about other ways of memory that equally respect both parties and cultures. I think that the answer is that I should start my own museum in Paris dedicated to the Exodus or diaspora. However, that might not happen, so a feasible idea would be some sort of music preservation, but I don’t know how. I don’t know how this could work or what effects this would have, but I’m excited to hopefully talk about this soon (after the holidays) either via e-mail or google hangout.

The Louvre

The Paris excursion has too many takeaways to name. From actually staying there by myself and meeting up with strangers to have discussions or mild debates about issues. To finishing up the applicable research and travelling to other countries while abroad. One takeaway from going abroad was actually experiencing the liberation that I read so much about. I guess the biggest takeaway would be creating a topic for future research. I now know that I can’t take a macro idea and make it work in a few months. Therefore, this final project has really laid the foundation for a bigger research approach dealing with culture and musical memory.

Abbey Road

Abbey Road

 

Jamón in Madrid

Jamón in Madrid

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