BFE Fieldwork Award Winners 2022

We are delighted to announce our 2022 award recipients from the BFE Fieldwork Grants scheme. Warm congratulations to this year’s winners, Budhaditya Bhattacharyya, Rose Campion, and Laura Spence. Each of the submitted proposals had impressive strengths, but the difficult task of choosing just three applicants was made on the basis of their well-conceived and clear presentation of the research and proposed fieldwork. We look forward to reading their fieldwork reports on completion. The recipients describe their research projects below. Many thanks to our 2022 Fieldwork Grants Scheme prize panel: Noel Lobley, Jennifer Post and Amanda Villepastour (Chair).

Budhaditya Bhattacharyya (Durham University)

Following the passing of the British Nationality Act, 1948—which gave all Commonwealth citizens free entry into Britain—there was a major spike in immigration from South Asia through the 1970s and 80s, a large part being from the Bengal delta region. In order to help develop a better musical understanding of the political underpinnings of 20th-century multicultural Britain, my multilingual project primarily involving Sylheti, Bengali and English, foregrounds diasporic memory to listen to previously unheard histories of how these women and men mobilised their musical capital to exert citizenship and identity in 20th-century Britain, took refuge in musical practices to sustain personal and familial intimacies; and thereby paved the way for younger generations to express their ‘British-Bengaliness’, through a neo-localised musical consciousness.

Rose Campion (Keble College Oxford)

My project explores the creative and social processes of intercultural music programmes with forced migrants in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany.  The guiding question is how state-funded music-making programmes can empower participant agency both in and beyond the performance space. Beginning in 2015, German civil society initiated arts programmes alongside those in housing, healthcare, and education to promote the social and cultural integration of forced migrants. While many organisations tout music’s value as a “universal language” that “crosses borders”, they rarely acknowledge that music can also reinforce existing constructions of difference.



Laura Spence (RHUL)

Despite the extensive range of anthropological studies on food production and consumption, there is comparatively little ethnomusicological research that examines the relationship between music and food within a socio-cultural context. ‘Musical Niches and the Foodways of Chilean Wine,’ strives to explore musical niches created by the foodways of wine production and consumption in Chile, within three interconnected contexts: 1. Annual local Vendimias (wine harvest) festivals held in Chile’s wine growing regions; 2. Wine tours and tastings held within the grounds of vineyards; and 3. Privately-run wine tasting events organised by vendors and/or wine enthusiasts. These fieldwork sites represent a surprisingly multifaceted cooptation of musical cultures; including the use of sound in the fermentation process itself.