We are very excited to be supporting the participation of Belgian-Moroccan singer Laïla Amezian in the Women – Music – Futures Symposium at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The session Chaabi Habibi: Popular Female Moroccan Musicians in Belgium Searching for their History and Building their Future, will be run together with Hélène Sechehaye, a lecturer with a PhD in Music and Musicology. The session takes place on Friday, 10.3.2023, 11.00–12.30 EET.
Laïla Amezian is a Belgian-Moroccan singer with an eclectic style and an intense, silky voice. Inspired by the varied repertoires of her Maghrebian origins, Laïla nourishes her vocal style with influences stemming from jazz, world music and various encounters made over the years. Laïla Amezian is the coordinator and artistic director of the Halfmoon vzw. As from 2023 she’s one of the artistic coordinators at MetX.
CHAABI HABIBI is motivated by a reflection on the place of women in the artistic environment, and in particular in that of dance and chaabi music throughout the Moroccan diaspora. The project celebrates both musicians, as well as all those who have fought for freedom of expression and artistic practice. It aims to raise reflection on the theme of the body and gender stereotypes related to artistic practice. Aware of the gender stereotypes existing in our society and more specifically those suffered by people from more traditional cultural communities, it was decided to focus the project on popular music in Morocco, an area where the woman’s body is still very marked by taboos, prohibitions, various projections, dominations, even violence.
Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi
Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi is a project, led by Laïla Amezian together with trumpeter Laurent Blondiau. The project pays tribute to the Ghanayats and Shikhats, female musicians who fought for freedom of expression through their art. It also highlights a cultural heritage that these singers have popularised throughout Morocco since the end of the 19th century, and which is perpetuated in Belgium.
On the 3rd of March 2023 the group released its first album with the label Zephyrus, which is followed by a tour in and around. Flanders, Brussels and the Netherlands.
Women – Music – Futures Symposium at the University of Helsinki
The symposium aims to discuss the agency of women musicians worldwide, and the ways in which they use music to construct imaginary or real futures for themselves. Often working in patriarchal environments and restricted by social norms and expectations of their communities, women demonstrate significant resilience and creativity as they seek to create space for musical activities. In this regard, mutual support and networks between women are important. Sometimes women choose music because it provides a platform for presenting their views and/or influencing their communities in ways that would not be allowed otherwise.
Women – Music – Futures
Symposium at the University of Helsinki, Finland
March 9th and 10th 2023
The symposium is organized with the support of Kone Foundation, for the project World Wide Women – Female Musicians Crossing Borders and Building Futures, The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.