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INSOMNIA FESTIVAL: Film and Talk, "Electro Chaabi" + Activism in Music

“Electro Chaabi”, Friday, VT, 17.30
(Entrance with Festivalpass, Fridaypass or buy your ticket at VT)

Electro Chaabi (2013, 77 min. Director: Hind Meddeb)

While Egypt has traditionally been the beating heart of classical Arabic music, with legendary singers such as Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, a new craze is taking over the Arab world’s most populous nation: Electro Chaabi. Inspired by the down-and-dirty music played at street parties and weddings, this new populist dance form combines a punk spirit with a hip hop attitude set against a furious cascade of drums, bass and electronic vocals.

If feature-length documentaries such as “Buena Vista Social Club” helped introduce world audiences to the lost golden melodies of Cuban music, director Hind Meddeb is bringing the furious, sweaty rhythms of downtown Cairo to global ears with “Electro Chaabi”. While the beats are designed to get your feet moving, the lyrics, often laced with revolutionary fervour, offer insights into the mindset of today’s restless Egyptian youth. It is unlike anything you’ve seen (or heard) before.

Activism in Music: Artists’ role in moving societies

Insomnia and European Lab (France) are happy to co-curate a discussion dedicated to the role of artists in the reinvention of society. As Matt Black, founder of Ninja Tune records claims it; “cultural activism has never been more important”.

After the screening of the documentary Electro Chaabi directed by Hind Meddeb where she followed the emerging artists who took the Cairo streets during the Arabic Spring, join us for a conversation between:

From Tunis to Northern Scandinavia, what role can music play in political struggles?

Can music be a weapon for artists to become activists and be in the forefront of social and political transformations?

Musicians Islam Chipsy and Mahmoud Refat, Malek Khemiri -Tunisian rapper and movie maker and Niillas Holmberg, Sami poet and musician.

Moderating this talk will be music journalist and radio host Guttorm Andreasen.