Sonic Accompaniment to Birth in the Jewish Sahara
Date & Location
About the Event
Moroccan women's repertoires in the Maghreb, particularly those which are sung during marriage and childbirth, are at the heart of the sonic cementing of communal power. Muslim and Jewish women's oral traditions have also been used to resist colonial powers and form a strong group identity within gendered spaces. Today, few people remember that these songs even exist.
This series of talks and live events, featuring Cambridge academics and Jewish and Muslim cultural stakeholders from Morocco, will provide historic, linguistic, cultural and musicological context to the celebration of North African women's fertility through song.
Previewing the launch of the online exhibit Sonic Accompaniment to Birth in the Jewish Sahara a group of Cambridge academics and Jewish and Muslim cultural stakeholders from Morocco will discuss the deep context of women’s music, fertility, orality and interfaith relations found in Jewish Saharan women’s songs for labor and birth.
Each day between March 26 - March 31 at 12pm, a new video will be premiered on the Faculty of Music YouTube channel:
Day 1: Dr Vanessa Paloma Elbaz (Faculty of Music), on colonial and post-colonial Jewish and Muslim women's birthing songs in Morocco and Noémie Hakim-Serfaty (Filmmaker, Producer, Stare Back Productions) on her creative process for the ongoing project for a film on exile, rituals and motherhood;
Day 2: Prof. Katharine Ellis (Faculty of Music), on women in music, patriarchy, and French colonialism;
Day 3: Dr Samuel Everett (CRASSH), on urban Jewish women performers in the Maghreb;
Day 4: Dr Jonas Sibony (INALCO), on women's Judeo-Arabic linguistic specificities in the Maghreb;
Day 5: Houda Ougaddoum (Mimouna Foundation), on Jewish and Muslim shared traditions around birth
Day 6: Hon. André Azoulay, Counsellor to the King of Morocco, on 'milk mothers' and Morocco's tradition of cross-religious nursing siblings.
The speakers will join together for a live Q&A and workshop on 31 March on Zoom, Facebook live and YouTube live.
Videos will remain available to watch after the premiere.
In collaboration with Cambridge Festival 2021.