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Connected to the amplifier. Music, youth and transitions

From September 04, 2012 until November 26, 2012

From September 17th to November 29th, Casa Árabe hosts in Madrid this season, an open window to the variety of the musical production in Arab and Islamic countries.

This music season will let people get to know from Algerian popular music, through which history and cultural richness of the country will be spread, to even to the most recent sounds, such as hip hop, heavy metal and rock in Iran, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Morocco... A walk through the most surprising and unknown underground scene of these countries, stating the fast evolution of its societies and the important role youth people are playing on those transitions.
Alongside the musical topic, there will also be two famous fiction films as a complement: The Moroccan Symphony, a blockbuster, and Whatever Lola Wants, on Oriental dance in Egypt.


No One Knows About Persian Cats, by Bahman Ghobadi (Iran, 2009, 106 minutes)
Two young musicians have just been released from prison and decide to form a musical band. Together they explore the underworld of the contemporary Teheran looking for other interpreters. When authorities banned them from singing in Iran, they plan to evade their clandestine existence and dream of playing in Europe, though without money and passports it will not be an easy task.

Next music station, serial by Fermín Muguruza (Spain and Qatar, 2011, 50 min. each chapter).
The musician and documentary maker Fermin Muguruza, with Al Jazeera Documentary Channel production, depictures a sound map of Arab World musical reality. A rhythmical trip through cultures, traditions, modernity, fight, resurgence, the willingness facing the future and the emotion of the present.

Yemen: between tradition and modernity
A captivating sound experience in Yemen conducted by Lamya Abdulhadef Al-Zubayri, who depicts the eagerness of Yemeni musicians for preserving traditional melodies, as well as the popular style Homayni from Sanaa, the ancient art of the oud, or even for merging those styles with new languages such as rap or electronic music.

Photographer Déborah Phares invites us to a sound trip through the Lebanese geography, a voice and sound mosaic which emerge from Arab traditional music, its folklore and its instruments, and which walk towards the search of new languages. These may serve as bridges and knowledge between Orient and Occident through more modern rhythms such as pop, rock, rap or alternative rock.

Arab Rap, by Bachir Bensaddek (Canada, 2011, 52 minutes)
Several artists, three countries, just one language: Arabic; just one style: hip hop. From Casablanca to Alepo this young people raise their voices. Their words are their black gold, which they distil as petrol for the vehicle they have chosen: rap, a well rolled machine of mix consoles and various sounds. Young people challenge to take the word, even when they are not allowed to.

El Gusto, by Safinez Bousbia (Algeria, Ireland and United Arab Emirates, 2011, 93 minutes)
The good mood is a characteristic from the Algerian popular music, Chaabi, created mid-twenties in the heart of the Algerian kasba by the great musician of the time, El Anka. Through the mythical orchestra El Gusto, the Algerian Buena Vista Social Club which meets again fifty years later, we travel through the cultural and political history of the country.

Heavy Metal in Baghdad, by Eddy Moretti and Suroosh Alvi (Iraq, 2007, 84 minutes)
This documentary film shoots the story of the heavy metal Iraqi band Acrassicauda from Saddam Hussein’s fall in 2003 to 2007. Playing heavy metal in that country was almost impossible, but after the regime fell the band enjoyed a brief period where freedom seemed to be possible. This story shows the expectations of a generation of young Iraqi people.

Whatever Lola Wants, by Nabil Ayouch (France and Morocco, 2007, 115 minutes)
Lola is 25-year old young female who lives in New York and dreams of becoming a belly dancer. Thanks to her best friend Youssef, a young Egyptian, she discovers the story of Ismahan, a star of Oriental dance, and quite a figure in Cairo.

The Moroccan Symphony, by Kamal Kamal (Morocco, 2006, 105 minutes)
After having taken part in the Lebanese war, Hamid feels he is guilty for having fallen in the trap of the war, of having killed... Therefore, he decides to meet with a group of excluded people to create the “Moroccan Symphony”, an anthem to try to improve the world. The original soundtrack of the film is superb, especially those popular songs by the groups Jil Jilala and Lemchaheb.

Screening program

Monday, September 17thNo One Knows About Persian Cats
Friday, September 21st 
Next music station
Monday, September 24thArab Rap
Monday, October 1stEl Gusto
Friday, October 5thNo One Knows About Persian Cats
Monday, October 8thArab Rap
Friday, October 19thHeavy Metal in Baghdad
Friday, October 26th
El Gusto
Monday, November 5thWhatever Lola Wants
Monday, November 12thHeavy Metal in Baghdad
Friday, November 16thWhatever Lola Wants
Monday, November 19thThe Moroccan Symphony
Friday, November 23rdNext music station
Monday, November 26thThe Moroccan Symphony

Screenings will take place at Casa Árabe’s Auditorium in Madrid (c/ Alcalá, 62), at 19.30, original version with subtitles in Spanish.
Connected to the amplifier. Music, youth and transitions