Outsourcing the nation? Musical collaboration, nation building and neo-liberal logics in Coke Studio Pakistan | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Reality Television in South Asia: Performance, Negotiation, Imagination
  • ISSN: 2059-0660
  • E-ISSN: 2059-0679

Abstract

is a decade-long music reality show featuring collaborations between pop, classical and local folk musicians. Sponsored by Coca-Cola and displaying a state-of-the-art production, it aims to bring local and old-school musicians and repertories to the Pakistani urban youth while disseminating a positive image of Pakistan. This occurs in the context of the efforts of Pakistani entrepreneurs and artists towards their insertion into the global market while overcoming the country’s negative international reputation due to religious violence. This article analyses under the lens of neo-liberal nationalism, characterizing it as a nation-branding effort that uses music to make a representation of Pakistan that complies with Coca-Cola’s corporate goals and with the agendas of a sector of Pakistani artists. A quantitative and network analysis of the show reveals which artists, genres, regions and cultural groups the show privileges or overlooks. A qualitative study of the show’s communicational strategy and of the discourses of its creators and sponsors complements the quantitative analysis. This article explores the complexities of a nationalist model of multicultural citizenship promoted by the private sector, including issues of cultural representation, corporate agendas, class relationships, responsiveness to audiences’ demands and international politics.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/itj_00028_1
2022-08-01
2024-02-25
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Ahmad, Salman. ( 2010), Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star’s Revolution, New York:: Free Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Anholt, Simon. ( 2007), Competitive Identity: The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions, New York:: Palgrave Macmillan;.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Anholt, Simon. ( 2011;), ‘ Beyond the nation brand: The role of image and identity in international relations. ’, Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, 2:1, pp. 17.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Anholt, Simon. ( 2013;), ‘ Beyond the nation brand: The role of image and identity in international relations. ’, Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, 2:1, pp. 17.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Anon. ( 2009;), ‘ Exclusive: The life and times of Rohail Hyatt. ’, Dawn , 26 July, https://www.dawn.com/news/859307/exclusive-the-life-and-times-of-rohail-hyatt. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  6. Anon. ( 2014;), ‘ Coke Studio: How the groundbreaking campaign started…. ’, Journey Pakistan , 21 December, http://www.stage.coca-colacompany.com/stories/coke-studio-how-the-groundbreaking-campaign-started/00. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  7. Anon. ( 2016;), ‘ Q&A: Director public affairs & comms Coke Pakistan talks about Coke Studio’s role in revival of Pakistani music industry. ’, Synergizer , 31 July, http://www.synergyzer.com/qa-director-public-affairs-comms-coke-pakistan-talks-about-coke-studios-role-in-revival-of-pakistani-music-industry/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  8. Anon. ( 2017;), ‘ Abbas Arslan from Coca Cola: Interview. ’, Kluchit , 16 May, http://www.kluchit.com/abbas-arslan-from-coca-cola-interview/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  9. Anon. ( 2018a;), ‘ Interview with John Galvin, general manager Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCI Pakistan): “$500 million investment shows belief in Pakistan’s economic future”. ’, Business Recorder , 12 January, https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180112334919/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  10. Anon. ( 2018b;), ‘ Coke Studio gets a makeover: Recording in the open with new artists. ’, Global Village Space, 4 July, https://www.globalvillagespace.com/coke-studio-gets-a-makeover-recording-in-the-open-with-new-artists/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Anon. ( 2019;), ‘ “Coke Studio is a Pakistani Indigenous cultural platform”: Sadaf Zarrar, IMC manager Coke Studio. ’, Global Village Space , 19 May, https://www.globalvillagespace.com/coke-studio-is-a-pakistani-indigenous-cultural-platform-sadaf-zarrar-imc-manager-coke-studio/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  12. Ansari, Zarminae. ( 2009;), ‘ Rooh Afza, drink of the East! A case study of iconography and successful branding. ’, in S. Zaidi. (ed.), Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan, Karachi:: Oxford University Press;, pp. 15055.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Ayres, Alyssa. ( 2009), Speaking Like a State: Language and Nationalism in Pakistan, New York:: Cambridge University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Aziz, Farieha. ( 2011;), ‘ Interview: Rohail Hyatt, producer of Coke Studio. ’, Newsline , June, https://newslinemagazine.com/magazine/interview-rohail-hyatt-producer-of-coke-studio/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  15. Baig, Mariam Ali. ( 2009;), ‘ The Pakola tale. ’, in S. Zaidi. (ed.), Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan, Karachi:: Oxford University Press;, pp. 15663.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Cánepa, Gisela, and Lossio, Félix. ( 2019;), ‘ La marca país como campo argumentativo y los desafíos de problematizar el Perú como marca. ’, in G. Cánepa, and F. Lossio. (eds), La Nación Celebrada: Marca País y Ciudadanías En Disputa, Lima:: Universidad del Pacífico;, pp. 939.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Collier, Karen. ( 2014;), ‘ A case study on corporate peace – The Coca-Cola Company: Coke Studio Pakistan. ’, Business, Peace and Sustainable Development, 2, pp. 7594.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. ‘Episode Seven’ ( 2018), Z. Kazi, and A. Hamza. (dirs), Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 11 Episode 7 (5 October, Pakistan:: Front Foot Media;), https://www.cokestudio.com.pk/season11/episode7.html?WT.cl=1&WT.mn=Episode7#&view=video3. Accessed 25 February 2021.
  19. ‘Episode Three’ ( 2018), Z. Kazi, and A. Hamza. (dirs), Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 11 Episode 3 (24 August, Pakistan:: Front Foot Media;), https://www.cokestudio.com.pk/season11/episode3.html?WT.cl=1&WT.mn=Episode3#&view=video2. Accessed 5 July 2022.
  20. Gershon, Ilana. ( 2011;), ‘ Neoliberal agency. ’, Current Anthropology, 52:4, p. 537.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Glassie, Henry. ( 1995;), ‘ Tradition. ’, Journal of American Folklore, 108:430, pp. 395412.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Gupta, Aishani. ( 2016;), ‘ People’s history of Pakistan: Project Coke Studio. ’, in P. Vandal. (ed.), THAAP Journal: People’s History of Pakistan, Lahore:: THAAP;, pp. 2235.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Hamidi, Faraz Maqsood. ( 2009;), ‘ Brand take-off: Pakistan International Airlines. ’, in S. Zaidi. (ed.), Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan, Karachi:: Oxford University Press;, pp. 16472.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Handler, Richard, and Linnekin, Jocelyn. ( 1984;), ‘ Tradition, genuine or spurious. ’, Journal of American Folklore, 97:385, pp. 27390.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Harvey, David. ( 2005), A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford and New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Isloo Music Festival ( 2019), https://www.facebook.com/events/1316655445153339/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  27. Jalal, Ayesha. ( 2014), The Struggle for Pakistan, Cambridge, MA:: Harvard University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Jamil, Rakae. ( 2017;), ‘ Generations of audio work through the digital turn in contemporary Pakistan. ’, MUSICultures, 44:1, pp. 97115.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Kalsoom ( 2009;), ‘ Behind the scenes at Coke Studio: An interview with Adnan Malik. ’, Changing Up Pakistan , 20 August, https://changinguppakistan.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/behind-the-scenes-at-coke-studio-an-interview-with-adnan-malik/. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  30. Kaneva, Nadia. ( 2011;), ‘ Nation branding: Toward an agenda for critical research. ’, International Journal of Communication, 5:25, pp. 11741.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kaneva, Nadia, and Popescu, Delia. ( 2011;), ‘ National identity lite: Nation branding in post-Communist Romania and Bulgaria. ’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14:2, p. 191.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kirk, Gwendolyn. ( 2017;), ‘ Karachi weds Lahore: The performance of ethnolinguistic identities in Pakistani TV comedy. ’, Pragmatics and Society, 8:1, pp. 2637.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. León, Javier. ( 2014;), ‘ Introduction: Music, music making and neoliberalism. ’, Culture, Theory and Critique, 55:2, p. 129.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Mukherjee, Bidisha. ( 2017;), ‘ Coke Studio: A musical identity. ’, in J. C. Mathew. (ed.), Understanding Pakistan: Emerging Voices from India, London and New York:: Routledge;, pp. 187203.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Mukhtar, Najia. ( 2015;), ‘ Using love to fathom religious difference: Contemporary formats of Sufi poetry in Pakistan. ’, Contemporary South Asia, 23:1, p. 26.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Naqvi, Ahmer. ( 2018;), ‘ The words behind Coke Studio. ’, Herald , 29 November, https://herald.dawn.com/news/1398736/the-words-behind-coke-studio. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  37. Rahman, Tariq. ( 1996), Language and Politics in Pakistan, Karachi:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Sabeeh, Maheen. ( 2014;), ‘ Music on “red” alert. ’, The News , 17 August, https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/556903-faisal-kapadia-bilal-maqsood-strings-take-over-coke-studio. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  39. Sabeeh, Maheen. ( 2018;), ‘ Unveiling Coke Studio Explorer. ’, The News , 1 July, https://www.thenews.com.pk/tns/detail/565821-unveiling-coke-studio-explorer. Accessed 15 December 2020.
  40. Sabri, Zahra. ( 2019;), ‘ Coke Studio Pakistan, Seasons 2–10 & 12: Lyrics & translations. ’, https://www.academia.edu/37785473/Coke_Studio_Pakistan_Seasons_2_10_and_12_Lyrics_and_Translations. Accessed 20 January 2020.
  41. Scher, Philip W.. ( 2010;), ‘ UNESCO conventions and culture as a resource. ’, Journal of Folklore Research, 47:1&2, pp. 197202.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Siddiqi, Farhan Hanif. ( 2012), The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi and Mohajir Ethnic Movements, London and New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Williams, Richard David, and Mahmood, Rafay. ( 2019;), ‘ A soundtrack for reimagining Pakistan? Coke Studio, memory and the music video. ’, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 10:2, pp. 11128.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Yousaf, Salman. ( 2016;), ‘ Quantification of country images as stereotypes and their role in developing a nation brand: The case of Pakistan. ’, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 13:1, pp. 8195.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Yousaf, Salman, and Li, Huaibin. ( 2014;), ‘ Branding Pakistan as a “Sufi” country: The role of religion in developing a nation’s brand. ’, Journal of Place Management and Development, 7:1, pp. 90104.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Yousaf, Salman, and Li, Huaibin. ( 2015;), ‘ Social identity, collective self esteem and country reputation: The case of Pakistan. ’, Journal of Product & Brand Management, 24:4, pp. 399411.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Chocano, Rodrigo. ( 2022;), ‘ Outsourcing the nation? Musical collaboration, nation building and neo-liberal logics in Coke Studio Pakistan. ’, Indian Theatre Journal, 6:1, pp. 7795, https://doi.org/10.1386/itj_00028_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/itj_00028_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/itj_00028_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): music; nation branding; nationalism; neo-liberalism; Pakistan; reality shows
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error