Music and Migration

Celebrating the musical heritage of migrants in Colombia and elsewhere

Sigrid Yanara Palacios-Castillo, by Allan Barboza-Leitón
Ros Rigby
Bram Posthumus
Amani Semaan, by Elena Kukoleva
  • event type:WOMEX 16 Conference Session
  • date:22 Oct 2016
  • time:11:00 - 11:45
  • city/area:Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
  • venue:Conference Room 1, Level 0, Building 2, Cidade da Cultura
  • country:Spain
  • event posted by:Piranha Arts

Chaired by Ros Rigby (UK), Europe Jazz Network
with Sigrid Yanara Palacios-Castillo (Colombia/Germany), Econcult/Mangrove Culture
Bram Posthumus (The Netherlands/Burkina Faso), Words&Sounds
Amani Semaan (Lebanon), Beirut&Beyond

Sigrid Yanara Palacios-Castillo will explain how migrants from the Colombian Pacific Coast have fled violence to settle in Santiago de Cali since the 1950s, making up 62% of the population. These communities have continued to practice their music, and the Pacific Music Festival celebrates their traditions, stimulates their preservation and creates opportunities for their worldwide dissemination as a positive force for local conflict mitigation and the integration of a marginalized people.

West Africa correspondent Bram Posthumus will focus on how migration from countries ruled in the 1960’s by increasingly repressive regimes in Mali, Guinea and elsewhere led to musicians such as Salif Keita, Mory Kanté and others. migrating first to Abidjan, in relatively liberal Côte d’Ivoire, spawning a great music industry there and then on to Paris. These musicians and others have since gone back to Bamako and Conakry and set up studios and musical complexes in their own countries. In addition, there continues to be movement of musicians inside the region - Tiken jah Fakoly spent a lot of time in Bamako when there were political turbulences in his native Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal’s celebrated Cheikh Lô was actually born in Bobo Dioulasso, a multicultural crossing town melting pot in southwestern Burkina Faso.

Amani Semaan, co-founder of the Beirut and Beyond Festival will add her perspectives on the position in the Middle East and finally other examples of how music has been a powerful tool in work with more recent migrants- such as in the Calais ‘jungle’- will also be presented.