Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Join SEM
News from SEM: General News

ICTM Recommendations on Black Lives Matter and Decolonization

Friday, July 31, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
Share |


Dear colleagues,

The Committee on Ethics of the ICTM Executive Board proposed on 25 June to the Board its recommendations concerning the Black Lives Matter and the decolonization of music and dance studies. Members of the Board examined and endorsed the recommendations, suggesting at the same time some amendments, and the addition of a recommendation No. 3 below.

In line with the initial request of the Committee to involve membership in the process, we are happy that the document is now offered to you for further consideration. Please send your comments to this listerv or directly to the ICTM Secretariat (secretariat@ictmusic.org) by July 23 for the Board’s consideration. After consolidating them, the Board will finalize the statement and implement the actions proposed below.


Recommendations of the Committee on Ethics:

Endorsed and amended by the Executive Board,

and offered to ICTM members for further consideration

(9 July 2020)


Recommendation to issue a Statement in support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the decolonization of music and dance studies

Provisional Statement:

Referring to the ICTM Statutes and the Declaration of Ethical Principles and Professional Integrity;

Further referring to ICTM’s mission to bring together music and dance scholars, as well as artists, cultural activists, policy makers, and other individuals, collectives, and institutions in pursuit of equality, social participation, human rights, and sustainability in the performing arts;

Benefiting from the wide international composition of its membership, the inclusiveness of different scholarly traditions worldwide, and specific thematic and geographic focuses of its Study Groups;

Acknowledging the need to respect languages other than English, their values and conceptual strengths;

Recognizing that organizations such as ICTM need to promote ongoing reflection, and design measures aimed to overcome discriminatory, biased, alienating and/or violent practices on the basis of nationality, race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexuality, age, body type, disability, socio-economic background, research theories and methods, and other bases; and

Further recognizing that such practices continue to be deeply embedded in institutions and individual attitudes, reflected in academic hierarchy, the labour market, publishing practices, the operation of funding agencies, and the increasingly precarious nature of our work;

The ICTM expresses its support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and elsewhere in the world, and emphasizes the need to decolonize music and dance studies, including within the structures of ICTM.


Recommendations for actions

The actions listed below are aimed at engaging ICTM diverse members in dialogue from different perspectives:

1. A series of online roundtables, each focused on a specific theme, with diverse participants, who are in various capacities involved into research, documentation, teaching, safeguarding, and sustainability of music, dance, and related performing arts. For each roundtable, one or more relevant readings on human rights and decolonization should be made available in advance to all participants and the audience. The Executive Board will invite Study Groups, National and Regional Committees and the general membership to submit roundtable proposals to organize and chair the roundtables.

2. A brief anonymous survey sent to all members, inviting them to identify, describe and suggest how to overcome possible discriminatory, biased, alienating and/or violent practices experienced at ICTM events or in relation to ICTM publishing, in working environment other than ICTM, and in different spheres of academic life.

3. The Board should consider establishing an ongoing anonymous web form for reporting instances of discrimination, abuse, or other incidents occurring at ICTM events.

4. The Internet Presence Committee of the EB is invited to consider ways to foster the use of ICTM’s online forums to include a wider variety of content and to involve a greater diversity of actors and audiences.

5. A President’s Roundtable on the themes addressed above should be considered for inclusion in the 2021 World Conference.

6. A special issue of the Yearbook dedicated to the decolonization of music and dance studies should also be considered.


With best regards,

members of the Committee on Ethics: 

Naila Ceribašić (chair), Beverley Diamond, Marcia Ostashewski, Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg, Tan Sooi Beng, J. Lawrence Witzleben


Professor Naila Ceribasic, PhD

Research Advisor

Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research

Subiceva 42

HR-10000 Zagreb


tel. +385 1 4596 700, fax. +385 1 4596 709



Sign In

Featured News