Sonic Accompaniment to Birth in the Jewish Sahara
Date & Location
About the Event
Cambridge academics and Jewish and Muslim cultural stakeholders from Morocco will discuss the deep context of women’s music, colonialism and post-colonialism, birth, fertility, orality and interfaith relations found in Jewish Saharan women’s songs for labor and birth.
Hon. Andre Azoulay, Counsellor to the King of Morocco Mohammed VI
Samuel Everett, Research Associate CRASSH, University of Cambridge
Houda Ougaddoum, Mimouna Foundation
Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, MESG Research Associate Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge
Jonas Sibony, Linguist on Judeo-Arabic, INALCO, Sorbonne Paris Cité
Launching 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 (Hon. André Azoulay, Counsellor to the King of Morocco on ‘milk mothers’ and Morocco’s tradition of cross-religious nursing siblings, Dr. Vanessa Paloma Elbaz, researcher at the Faculty of Music on colonial and post-colonial Jewish and Muslim women’s birthing songs in Morocco, Cambridge Prof. Katharine Ellis (TBC), musicology on women in music, patriarchy, and French colonialism, Dr. Samuel Everett, anthropologist at CRASSH on the performativity of interreligious relationships through music, Dr. Jonas Siboni, from INALCO on women’s Judeo-Arabic linguistic specificities in the Maghreb and Houda Ougaddoum from the Mimouna Foundation on Jewish and Muslim shared traditions around birth). All will be present for a live workshop and Q&A on March 31. Videos will remain available to watch after the premiere.
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 for minority groups. Jewish music negotiates the tensions of resisting assimilation to both the Muslim majority and European colonial culture. 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 and musical connections between Jewish and Muslim communities are reserved for male repertoires that relate to classical arabo-Andalusian music. This event will provide historic, linguistic, cultural and musicological context to the celebration of North African women’s fertility through song.
This event is free and will be streamed via Zoom, Cambridge Music YouTube, Facebook live and Instagram.
For Zoom event details please RSVP here, for other platforms please register on that platform.