Encouraging creativity and culture


Ya Lalla: Jewish Saharans Singing To Birth

United Kingdom, Morocco, France



Younger generations in the Maghreb may reconnect through this online resource to inspire coming generations to reclaim and revive powerful Moroccan traditions. Thousands of Jews of Moroccan descent no longer know ancestral local traditions. Many feel disconnected from their millenary traditions. The tab for uploading family recordings, videos and photos functions as a living people’s archive which will be available in the future for consultation.


This project focuses on building an online pilot platform for KHOYA: Jewish Morocco Sound Archive, to bring Moroccan Jewish repertoires to a wide cross-generational transnational audience. This trilingual online pilot platform focuses on Judeo-Arabic women’s songs of birth to a wide international audience, one component is geared for the Moroccan diaspora (French and English), the other is in Arabic for Moroccan Muslims living in Morocco to learn and engage with Jewish Moroccan women’s repertoires on a topic as universal as birth. Providing an accessible tool for younger generations of Jewish and Muslim Moroccans to re-engage with Jewish repertoires and bring to the fore the societal importance of Jewish women’s songs, they are also invited to interact uploading their own traditions, stories, images and songs. To bring these marginalized repertoires to the foreground this project created an online exhibition featuring footage from an interview recorded in Casablanca (2016) of a Jewish Saharan woman in her seventies performing songs for birthing and Jewish saint pilgrimages. Other activities such as online and in person workshops are planned in France, UK, US, Morocco and Israel. Finally, there will be an exhibition, bringing forward objects, sounds and experiences of the traditions around birth in Morocco.

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