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Listening Gaza - Part of the Falastin Film Festival

Gazelleband present the music of Palestine and beyond through the medium of traditional string instruments, the oud and buzuq.

Listening Gaza - Part of the Falastin Film Festival

About Listening Gaza - Part of the Falastin Film Festival

Led by Gazan oud player Reem Anbar and Irish-Mancunian music researcher Louis Brehony, the group perform internationally at concerts halls, festivals, universities and solidarity gatherings. The only Scotland date in their worldwide tour, this Gazelleband performance features a new set of improvised and traditional tunes, blended with Palestinian storytelling.

The musical performance will be preceded by a reading by Bayan Haddad. What does it mean to write in times of emergency? Writers from Gaza are living, witnessing and documenting the genocide as it unfolds. How can we amplify their voices? What is the role of the reader? Hear a reading of voices from Gaza and discussion of meaningful interventions to actualise their messages.

Reem Anbar was raised in Gaza. She rose to prominence in the early 2000s with an affinity for tarab - the ecstatic traditions of Arab regional music - and the Palestinian heritage of song. Reem absorbed the lessons of older generations of oud players and forged her own path as a self-taught player. By the time she left Palestine in 2017, Reem was appearing regularly on Palestinian and Arabic TV, at concerts, and working as a music therapist and teacher in Gaza’s refugee camps. She has since gone on to become an international performer.

Louis Brehony is a musician, activist, researcher and educator. He is author of the book Palestinian Music in Exile: Voices of Resistance (2023), editor of Ghassan Kanafani: Selected Political Writings (2024), and director of the award-winning film Kofia: A Revolution Through Music (2021). He writes regularly on Palestine and political culture and performs internationally as a buzuq player and guitarist.

Bayan Haddad is a Palestinian scholar and an instructor of English literature at Birzeit University. She is the George Antonius Birzeit Visiting Fellow for 2024 and researches fiction from Palestine and Northern Ireland in light of trauma studies.

Falastin Film Festival (FFF) is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit collective of Palestinians and allies dedicated to bringing Palestinian art to Edinburgh and Highland audiences. Palestinians are often summed up as an ‘occupied people,’ and spoken for, though they have their own stories to tell. Using cinema as a tool of resistance the festival strives to decolonize the narrative and equip audiences with historical context. There is a desire to build community while celebrating Palestinian art and culture through cinema, music, cuisine, and other storytelling mediums. Scotland’s exposure to Palestinian society, art, culture, and humanity altogether remains rather limited. FFF hopes to fill this gap, using both classical and contemporary cinema primarily but not exclusively. They strive to highlight Palestinian steadfast resistance, cultural preservation, stories of love, and in the words of poet Rafeef Ziadah, teachings of life. In so doing, they offer a refreshing portrayal that encompasses the geographic, linguistic, and experiential diversity of the Palestinian people globally.

Visit their website falastinfilmfest.com or follow them on social media @falastinfilmfest.

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