Reberberation: Musicians and the Mobilization of Tradition in the Berber Culture Movement
Author(s)Wiedenkenner, Tucker McGee
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AbstractFrom antiquity to the present, music and oral tradition have been of utmost importance in Berber culture, proving as the main vehicle for disseminating news and ideas between villages and preserving culture. Thus, it is only natural that music would prove to be a main tool of the Berber Culture Movement that seeks cultural recognition under oppressive and hegemonic Arab-Islamic authorities in the region, which have sought to squash cultural plurality since the end of European colonialism. This thesis explores how politically engaged Berber musicians rally their people to the Berber culture and identity by taking that which is inherently and fundamentally Berber tradition and reworking it to give it modern value, a quality that the Arab- Islamic states have denied the Berber people. Musicians embody the historical Berber tradition of providing ethical insight to their people via poetry, and have become the voice of a movement. Music is one of the central means through which the Berber culture remains alive and thriving, and it is intriguing artists and activists from around the globe.