Dr. Leonardo D’Amico


Leonardo D’Amico is a Post-doctoral Researcher in Ethnomusicology at the Department of Music in the School of Film, Music, and Theatre at University College Cork. His research fields are Audiovisual Ethnomusicology, Minority music in southwest China, African diaspora and Colombian music, Music and storytelling in West Africa, Italian extemporary poetry.

He completed his Doctorate in Musicology from the University of Valladolid, Spain. As a Lecturer, he taught Ethnomusicology at the University of Siena, University of Ferrara, University of Arezzo, Conservatory of Brescia and Conservatory of Mantua, Italy. In 2016 he was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Yunnan University in Kunming, China. He held the position of chair of the ICTM Italian Committee, and he is co-founder and chair of the ICTM Study Group on Audiovisual Ethnomusicology. Currently, Leonardo D'Amico is a postdoc researcher of the 5-year community-engaged ERC research project ECura, Everyone’s a Curator: Digitally Empowering Ethnic Minority Music Sustainability in China. 


Everyone's a Curator: Digitally Empowering Ethnic Minority Music Sustainability in China (ECura)

Researchers have recognized that culture bearers need to be more centrally involved in music sustainability, both for these programmes to prove practically effective and because it is ethically essential that community members determine what music might be shared with others, if any, and under what conditions. ECura innovatively designs a new research framework for applied ethnomusicology (and related areas) that capitalizes on newly emergent possibilities for sustaining intangible culture arising from the rising participation of ethnic minority members in digital social media platforms.

It addresses a central question: How can we empower ethnic minority groups to become the main actors in sustaining their indigenous cultural heritage via their wide participation in mobile digital media platforms? The action-based and collaborative research framework includes:

  1. Making tailored platform programs to better accommodate equal online participation.
  2. Setting up a website as a crowdsourced database “recording” community culture.
  3. Daily communication, community outreach, workshops to empower culture bearers.
  4. Cultural and media studies approach to contextualize the observed processes
  5. Virtual ethnography on culture bearers’ social media activities ECura has the potential to transform the ways ethnomusicologists, folklorists and others work with communities to sustain endangered cultural heritage. Its step of transforming culture bearers into the curators of their own digital materials is crucial.

It focuses on three villages in Yunnan, China, allowing the acquisition of a deeply contextualized understanding of three contrasting cultural heritage settings and the development of carefully shaped solutions to the challenges detected. Similar situations of cultural imperialism, the vanishing of indigenous culture, and the disempowering of the underprivileged in managing their own culture, occur worldwide. The new research framework will thus be transferable to a broad cross-section of endangered cultural heritages among minority communities in larger contemporary states who are adapting to rapid digitalisation globally.

Email: LDamico@ucc.ie


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