Being Gnawi in Brussels: Islam, Ritual and Music in a European Capital

Being Gnawi in Brussels: Islam, Ritual and Music in a European Capital. Auditorium. Thursday, November 4, 18:30

Eduardo Genoa

This conference looks at the complex situation of musical practice within a Muslim community. Perpetually disapproved of because it is associated with immoral behaviour, music is nevertheless one of the central elements of the ritual of the Gnawa, a confraternal community originating from Morocco. In the Brussels diaspora, music occupies a very important place in the lives of the Gnawa, who devote themselves almost entirely to it. In addition to the rituals that feed their spirituality and the concerts that build bridges between different populations in the city, the Gnawa have gradually positioned themselves as the privileged performers of wedding repertoires in the Moroccan community. We will see how, living from and for music, the Gnawa of Brussels juggle these various activities and their contradictions, and transform the paradoxes by creating bridges between worlds.

Lecturer: Hélène Sechehaye