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Workshop: Roots, Diaspora, and Belonging - A Musical Exploration

13th February @ 10:00 - 17:30

Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0UB

The workshop, Roots, Diaspora, and Belonging—A Musical Exploration, will take place at the Woolf Institute on Wednesday 13 February 2019 between 10.00-5.30pm.

In 2016 there were reported 65 million displaced persons in the world (NPR), 5 million of them Syrians (UN). How do people maintain a sense of who they are when they are displaced, that is when they find themselves in a new locality devoid of what gave them a sense of familiarity, security, and belonging—when they are "out of place". When you are not home, how do remember what home was like? When you are in a new place, how do you go about making it feel like home? Roots, Diaspora, and Belonging addresses these questions through the cultural medium of music, guided by the methods of ethnomusicology. Although there are several cultural domains to choose from when exploring the performance of identification in diaspora, music has been chosen for this workshop because of its 'unique power to evoke collective emotions, signal identity, and bond or divide entire societies' (Sinnreich 2010).

The regional focus of the workshop will be the Levant, looking in particular at the Syrian and Iraqi diasporas. The workshop will feature speakers from a variety of disciplines including anthropology, ethnomusicology, archeology, and sociology as well as artists and musicians from the region.

This workshop is part of the Living in Harmony research project at the Woolf Institute, which is exploring diasporic Jewish and Muslim communities from Syria and Iraq through music and memory, both individual and collective, and encounter.

For further information, contact Dunya Habash at

Please Note: The entry date for this conference has now passed.

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