January 04, 2013

DAM'd if they do, DAM'd if they don't

I first noticed Palestinian hip hop group DAM's rebuttal of this review of their latest work.  Both review and rebuttal are on Jadiliyya:

Here's the video:

And here's a piece of DAM's response to the review. Obviously you ought to read both in full but I'm assuming that a lot of readers won't be familiar with DAM's work so I thought it fairest to give them a hearing first:
We were happy to find on the pages of Jadaliyya supporters and friends who understand our work and respect what we have been doing as artists and members of our community for many years.

We also feel an urgency to respond to the analysis that Lila Abu-Lughod and Maya Mikdashi offered of our work. We take the issue and the critique seriously. Normally we don’t feel the urge to reply to a review but we felt that this specific review crossed a few lines, especially with its title! 
Tradition and the Anti-Politics Machine: DAM Seduced by the “Honor Crime.” The title, like the article’s content, implies that DAM (and Jackie and the other artists who created the song and the video) are politically and intellectually naïve. This approach is a top-heavy one and stops short of a serious engagement of our work. 
When we write songs, we do not sit and think, "what would America or Israel think of this?" We open the window and document what we see. We document the struggles of our generation in the service of our communities. We are confident that our artistic and political work is one that engages its context. Our view is, if nothing else, a close and engaged one.  
And here's Jadiliyya on Jadiliyya:

Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute), the umbrella organization that produces Arab Studies Journal and runs the Documentary Film Collective, Quilting Point. 

Jadiliyya provides a unique source of insight and critical analysis that combines local knowledge, scholarship, and advocacy with an eye to audiences in the United States, the Arab world, and beyond. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic and in English. 

Jadaliyya is run and produced on a voluntary basis by an editorial team and expanding pool of contributors committed to discussing the Arab world on its own terms. Where others see only a security threat, conflict, or data on a graph, we see a region inhabited by living communities and dynamic societies.  
Like DAM only without the music.

By the way, Electronic Intifada posted the track/video ages ago.  Naughty me, not keeping up with the programme.


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