TOPIC A Corporatization of Music
TOPIC B Trafficking of Cultural Objects
DELEGATION SIZE Single
- Alec Vizoso (he/him)
- Sameer Bhasin (he/him)
From musical and greater artistic expression to the recovery and preservation of cultural artifacts, this iteration of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will highlight a more unconventional discussion on cultural sovereignty and individual autonomy, as it is represented in the fine arts. Through discussion of these topics, delegates will deal with micro- and macro-level problems, where delegates will be concerned with individual label practices and the exploitation of musicians as well as the impact such practices have on foreign relations and the economic and cultural sovereignty of entire regions throughout the world.
Topic A: Corporatization of Music
“Please don’t stop the money…I mean music!” While less than a handful of multinational, conglomerate labels and streaming platforms control the vast majority of the music industry, consumers are commoditized according to compartmentalized genres, while artists are frequently exploited in and out of the recording studio. Delegates in this committee will have to tackle issues such as the autonomy of artists, unequal resource distribution in music genres and countries, the individuality and preservation of traditional music traditions, and anti-competitive practices by major recording platforms, music festivals, and ticketing agencies.
Furthermore, the rise of new technologies related to AI has sent shockwaves across the music industry. On the one hand, record labels are now capable of producing inauthentic productions of artists’ voices, from auto-tuning edits to outright artificial voices and instrumental generators. On the other hand, streaming services, most notably Spotify and Apple Music, now have the ability to identify one’s interests in particular genres and feed the user with already established artists through their system of recommendations. Delegates will have to contend with the effects of these dynamics, most notably the seclusion of independent and/or self-supplying artists who, because of the style of music they create, are not seen as economically effective for these wide-reaching corporate bodies.
Topic B: Trafficking of Cultural Objects
“That belongs in a museum … or whatever the rightful owners want to do with it.” During discussion of topic B, delegates will travel the world to protect cultural artifacts from being trafficked or stolen. In dealing with the present, delegates will be confronted with challenges such as dealing with black markets, addressing abuses of cultural artifacts, and developing infrastructure to protect works of art. In looking to the past, delegates will have to address past injustices that have affected the current state of the fight against trafficking in cultural objects.
This committee will also deal with issues on both a global and individual scale. Cultural exploitation and the trafficking of cultural objects have caused harm to nations equally, and delegates will have to confront the influence and legacy of colonialism on historical and artistic artifact trade.