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“I Have a Voice”: Despatialization, Multiple Alterities and the Digital Performance of Jbala Women of Northern Morocco

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The Jbala region of northern of Morocco is one that defies easy categorization, containing dialects, styles of dress and performance genres not found elsewhere. Jbala women, “mountain women”, are often the stuff of folklore and are well known for an inimitable form of local zajal, spoken poetry delivered in Derrija, or Moroccan Arabic. ‘Ayoua is a form of poetry that is traditionally sung outdoors as a way to help pass the monotony of daily gendered tasks such as agricultural work and herding animals and is also used to venerate local saints. This paper focuses on the shift of ‘Ayoua and Jbala women and the genre of ‘Ayoua as it moves from agricultural fields to small local recording studios to the digital spaces of Facebook and YouTube interviews and concert performances.

Affiliations: 1: University of Houston-Clear Lake


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