Palestinian Music in Exile: Voices of Resistance
By Louis Brehony
A historical and contemporary study of Palestinian musicianship in exile in the Middle East, spanning half a century in disparate locations
Palestinian Music in Exile is a historical and contemporary study of Palestinian musicianship in exile in the Middle East, spanning half a century in disparate locations including Gaza, Turkey, Kuwait, and Egypt. Grassroots musicians emerge here as powerful actors, their stories taking center stage, offering critiques of existing conditions, and new perspectives on displacement and the transmission of Palestinian narratives, and presenting alternative visions for the future.
Louis Brehony argues that, under conditions of colonial relations and repeated displacement, the reclaiming of public space has gone hand in hand with aesthetic revolution, both broadening and traditionalizing the sounds of Palestine, and carrying messages of sumud (steadfastness) and resistance. Based on a decade’s research in Europe and the Middle East, this timely and inspiring collection of musical ethnographies provides a rich oral history of contemporary Palestinian musicianship and encompasses a broad range of experiences of the ghurba, or state of exile.
"Based on a deep knowledge of Palestinian resistance and culture, this book weaves together revolutionary Marxist and anticolonial theory with Palestinian history, music, and political and social ideas, in a way which is both accessible and intelligent."—Tahrir Hamdi, Arab Open University
"Louis Brehony’s book is a testament to the centrality of Palestinian culture, particularly music, to the continuity of the Palestinian struggle. He bears witness to the power of culture as a generator of meaning, and as a revolutionary tool in the hands of working-class Palestinian refugees in Palestine and in the diaspora."—Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle
"Louis Brehony's outstanding work sheds light on the various circumstances and factors that influenced the creation of Palestinian music in exile, which then became truly diverse and unique in the Arab world.”—Bashar Shammout, Al Fajer