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Music of Women and Birthing

Fri 26 March - Wed 31 March

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. 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.

Coinciding with the launch of the online exhibit Sonic Accompaniment to Birth in the Jewish Sahara, each day between 26 - 31 March, at 12pm, a new video will be premiered on the Faculty of Music YouTube Channel: 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 (Faculty of Music), on colonial and post-colonial Jewish and Muslim women's birthing songs in Morocco; Prof. Katharine Ellis (Faculty of Music), on women in music, patriarchy, and French colonialism; Dr Samuel Everett (CRASSH), on the performativity of interreligious relationships through music; Dr Jonas Siboni (INALCO), on women's Judeo-Arabic linguistic specificities in the Maghreb; and Houda Ougaddoum (Mimouna Foundation), on Jewish and Muslim shared traditions around birth.

The speakers will join together for a live Q&A and workshop on 31 March, where there will be a chance to learn some of the songs.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Registration is required via the above link in order to attend the live Q&A and workshop on 31 March at 1pm.

All pre-recorded videos will appear on the Faculty of Music YouTube channel at 12noon each day between 26 - 31 March: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOiKZ8U3pCkvZOaOOEHSjNw



Live Stream Available on Demand

All times

Fri 26 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Sat 27 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Sun 28 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Mon 29 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Tue 30 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
Wed 31 March 12:00PM - 12:30PM
1:00PM - 3:00PM


Please note: the venue is to be confirmed