Professor Alessandra Ciucci has received the Lenfest Junior Faculty Grant Award for her new book project Nass el Ghiwane: Popular Music and the Sound of Protest in Morocco (1970s-1990s). Her book delves into Nass el Ghiwane, the most influential popular music group in Morocco during the "Years of Lead", an era from the 1960s through the 1990s marked by political violence and oppression. Professor Ciucci argues that the group was able to forge a new musical and poetic language utilizing traditional Moroccan culture as a method of decolonization that also provided a sense of contemporary authenticity. You can find a full description of the book below.
Nass el Ghiwane: PopularMusic and the Sound of Protest in Morocco (1970s-1990s). The book centers on Nass el Ghiwane, the most influential popular music group to emerge in Morocco during an era so marked by political violence and oppression that it came to be known as the “Years of Lead” (1960s-1990s). It shows how Nass el Ghiwane was able to forge a new musical and poetic language by drawing on particular ideas of tradition and modernity. Steeped in an artistic scene and a left-wing intellectual milieu linked with postcolonial and decolonial projects that called for the rediscovery and rehabilitation of traditional culture based on orality and the vernacular, Nass el Ghiwane was also in conversation with corresponding artistic movements taking place in Europe, the U.S., and Latin America. At the core of this study there will be close readings of music and poetry that are both anchored in local music traditions and stand at the intersection with artistic expressions associated with late twentieth-century international youth movements. The book argues that Nass el Ghiwane successfully deployed Moroccan traditional culture as a decolonization project, while providing a sense of contemporary authenticity. At the intersection of ethnomusicology, poetics, Moroccan colonial and postcolonial history, youth politics, social movements and the arts, the project aims to demonstrate that in-depth analysis of songs by Nass el Ghiwane yields new insights into a foundational stage of contemporary Moroccan history: the transition from the French Protectorate to the modern nation.