Funding Popular Culture in Tanzania

Crowdfunding, Self-Funding and the Live Performance as Fundraiser 1

Authored by: Nikitta Dede Adjirakor

Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367483869
eBook ISBN: 9781003080855
Adobe ISBN:


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Following the neoliberal rise after the collapse of socialism in Tanzania, government support of the arts declined, leading to a rise in private, non-governmental funding strategies within a capitalist, consumerist market. Hip-hop and spoken word poetry as aesthetic, cultural activities became imbued with economic value and exist within established patterns of financing, production and distribution. This chapter explores the different strategies that artists use to fund spaces for hip-hop and spoken word poetry in Dar es Salaam, focusing especially on the digital phenomenon of crowdfunding, self-funding and the live performance as fundraiser. Taking the notion of the literary hustle as a point of departure, the chapter examines how artists and donors use these non-institutionalised strategies to sustain the production of popular art forms in Dar es Salaam. It argues that these strategies provide a space for artists, donors and audiences to reemphasise the value of popular arts in their everyday lives.

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