Article Title

Socratic Dialogue as a Framework for Understanding Activist Music during the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia

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This paper argues that Plato’s Socratic Dialogues can effectively model the process through which musical activism is understood by listeners. The Socratic Dialogues, as an abstract model, are first analyzed for advantages and disadvantages when using them to understand musical activism. This analysis breaks the dialogues into two stages: “Deconstruction” and “Collaboration.” The model is then applied to the song “Ebola is Real” by F. A., Soul Fresh, and DenG, a work that arose from the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia in March 2014. The song was supported by UNICEF and has a clear activist agenda. The song structure, lyrics and commentary on the song are examined with the Socratic Dialogues in mind. The paper concludes that Plato’s Socratic Dialogues offer a clear model for understanding the complex processes and relationships at work in musical activism.


Activism, Ebola, Plato, Liberia, Ontology

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