Music, Politics and ‘Organic Artists’ during the Arab Spring

Contention vs. Status Quo in Tunisia and Morocco

in Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

Music and politics have long been related. In the Middle East, the Arab Spring has shed new light on how artists can become involved as legitimate public figures taking part in crucial political developments. By looking at Tunisia and Morocco, where constitutional reforms took place with different outcomes in that context, I explore the extent to which the Tunisian and Moroccan music scenes contributed to the uprisings. On a theoretical level, I add to the theories of collective action and social movements by drawing on a re-interpretation of Albert Hirschman’s typology, and define an original concept inspired by Antonio Gramsci’s work, namely that of the ‘organic artist’. Relying on song-text and video-clip analysis, in this paper I examine the artists’ (re)actions to unfolding events, (re)actions which illustrate the challenges they faced. Hence, the fact that the music scenes in both Tunisia and Morocco strongly backed the uprisings reflects only part of the reality.

Sections
References
  • Armada Bizerta (2012). Constitution de la résistance. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6hBgSToYOs. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Boubia A. (2014). Les Nouvelles formes de Production du Politique dans le Monde Arabe à l’ Exemple des Festivals de Musique au Maroc: Culture et Politique en Contexte Autoritaire. PhD dissertation SciencesPo Paris and Kassel University.

  • Boubia A. (2015). ‘Artivism’ in the Arab World: A Major Driving Force Towards Democracy. IEMed Mediterranean Yearbook: 320–323.

  • Chekhsar (2013). Wa hiya Benkirane. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnmWyQjYM_4. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Chekhsar (2014). Islam fel 9alb. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSdHh_Ts3hY. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Don Bigg (2011). Mabghitch. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6WkwpSSndE. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • El General (2011). Rayes lebled. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yPZE313mk8. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • El General (2012). Bledi matebkich. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlP0f96_XtM. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Eyerman R. and A. Jamison (1998). Music and Social Movements: Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Filiu Jean-Pierre (2011). Comment le Rap A Annoncé le Printemps Arabe. Online: http://next.liberation.fr/musique/2011/08/01/comment-le-rap-a-annonce-le-printemps-arabe_752482. Accessed 14 Aug. 2017.

  • Gramsci A. (1959). Œuvres Choisies. Paris: Editions sociales.

  • Gramsci A. (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks. New York: International Publishers.

  • Haoussa (2012). Lftikhabate. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpiE2wz2K8E. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Hirschman A.O. (1970). Exit Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms Organizations and States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

  • Hoba Hoba Spirit (2011). Iradat al-hayat. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUHSxIp_-i4. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Jasper J. (1997). The Art of Moral Protest: Culture Biography and Creativity in Social Movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • Jasper J. (1998). The Emotions of Protest: Affective and Reactive Emotions in and around Social Movements. Sociological Forum 13(3): 397–424.

  • Koman (2011). Cha3b yourid al hayat foug Figuig. Online: https://soundcloud.com/thug-gang/cha3b-yourid-lhayat-foug-figig. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • L’Bassline (2012). Chayllah système. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDxZldZ77dM. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Levine M. (2008). Heavy Metal Islam: Rock Resistance and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam. New York: Three Rivers Press.

  • Lhaqed (2011). Baraka men skat. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKDQaRjvSzM. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Lhaqed (2013). Free Weld 15. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JyZdFMSYTE&feature=player_embedded#at=85. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Llewellyn Smith Caspar (2011). Soundtrack to the Arab Revolutions. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2011/feb/27/arab-revolutions-protest-music. Accessed 14 Aug. 2017.

  • Nouveau Système (2012). Meskina ya bladi. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhJ8eVrGVn8. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Oberschall A. (2000). Social Movements and the Transition to Democracy. Democratization 7(3): 25–45.

  • Psyco-M (2012). Overdose. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kuil83xAsbI. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Psyco-M (2014). A3tini el Kalach. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wg6rWG2_EN4. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Shabi R. (2013). How the Harlem Shake Moves to a More Radical Beat in Tunisia. Guardian. Online: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/14/harlem-shake-moves-radical-beat-tunisia. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Traïni C. (2008). La Musique en Colère. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

  • Volcanis le Roi (2012). Chay ma tbedel. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZJG6VBp0dc. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

  • Weld El 15 (2013). Boulicia kleb. Online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb182WuflpY. Accessed 16 Jan. 2017.

Figures
  • View in gallery
    Figure 1

    Graphic design for Lhaqed’s solidarity song with Weld El 15 in Tunisia

  • View in gallery
    Figure 2

    Tunisian rapper Weld El 15 (left) and Moroccan rapper Lhaqed (right)

  • View in gallery
    Figure 3

    Graphic design featuring Abdelilah Benkirane with the laundry detergent Tide

Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 226 226 25
Full Text Views 28 28 2
PDF Downloads 23 23 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0