Imagining a Borderless Future: Methodologies for Multimodal Remix in Pan-terrestrial People’s Anthem

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Andrew Haik Demirjian


Flags and national anthems, as symbols of the nation state, frequently rely on music, lyrics and visual design to enlist and manipulate emotional bonds. Can these same tools be used, alternatively, to disentangle connections to our concepts of country, notions of borders or even the idea of the nation state itself? This is the question at the core of Pan-terrestrial People’s Anthem, an interdisciplinary remixing of the lyrics and music of 195 countries’ national anthems and their corresponding flags to create a body of poetry, music and videos. In an era of increasing closed-door nationalism, this article proposes that remix strategies can be used to unravel our concepts of nations, which traditionally magnify differences between countries and overemphasize a false sense of uniqueness, and to point instead to the interconnectedness between populations. In this context, remix strategies become a model for a future imaginary, a world that emphasizes the interdependence of beings and spaces that transcend established geopolitical boundaries. Through the case study of Pan-terrestrial People’s Anthem, I argue that remix strategies are particularly well suited as an aesthetic structural tactic for engaging with pressing issues where intertwined and entangled futures are at stake. 

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