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Gripped by the Soul of Spiritual Awakening
- a presentation about black metal from the Low Countries

How do divergent uses of black metal aesthetics and cultural narratives differ between Norwegian and Dutch-speaking Low Countries bands, and in what ways do these uses have different outcomes and meanings? Norwegian black metal will always be Norwegian black metal. And Swedish death metal will always stay Swedish death metal. Yet, in the Dutch-speaking Low Countries, there is a vast variation of black metal bands that are more inclined toward their local area or province. Why is that and what can explain those differences?


Christopher Thompson (University of Malmö) and Didier Goossens (CEMPER, Erasmus University Rotterdam) have bundled forces to answer these questions and will present their work at our conference. Mod: Frank Kimenai (Hive Mind, NL).

Friday 7. April 14:00 - Room 2

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Mod: Frank Kimenai (Hive Mind, NL)


Frank Kimenai is an Amsterdam-based music ecosystem researcher and advisor. He specializes in popular music and its idiosyncratic actors, infrastructure, and value chains. Frank feels most at home at the intersection of culture, economy, policy, and the social domain. He has a healthy dose of grassroots ethics, an entrepreneurial mindset and an international gaze. He likes innovation but dislikes speculation, loves Excel sheets and listens to Black Flag. Currently, Frank’s main activities are his research on the resilience of music ecosystems at the Erasmus University, and his job as head of the public funding and development department of Web3 music & tech start-up Copyright Delta. Frank is frequently asked as a public speaker, moderator and curator, amongst others at conferences like SXSW, ADE, ESNS, Reeperbahn and more. Furthermore, he is involved in several European and national music policy developments. For a full overview of his work activities over the last two decades, please check Linked In

Photo: Lana Mesic

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Christopher Thompson (University of Malmö, SE)

Christopher Thompson, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher of history at Malmö University. Thompson’s research focuses on the relationship between music, heritage, and memory in the American South. His current project, “Hearing the Unheard: Race, Class, and Archiving Southern Music Heritage” is funded by the Swedish Research Council. He has previously dealt with questions of history use and cultural memory in Norwegian black metal. At the time of writing, Thompson is also a member of the Rotterdam Popular Music Studies initiative at Erasmus University Rotterdam and the Oral History Network at Malmö University

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Didier Goossens (Erasmus University Rotterdam, BE)

Didier Goossens (he/him), MA, is a staff member at CEMPER (Centre for Music and Performing Arts Heritage in Flanders, Belgium) and a guest researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam’sdepartment of Arts & Culture Studies in the ESHCC (Erasmus School of History, Culture, and communication). His research focuses on developing notions of identity and locality in metal music and culture. He has discussed his work as well as the general trends and legitimization of meta-research in various media, including Sociology Magazine, Metal Music Studies, VI.BE and Studio Brussel. His chapter on Aotearoa Indigenous metal music will soon be published in the collection Defiant Sounds: Heavy Metal Music in the Global South (2023)

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