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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the documentary film El Gusto through an expanded definition of music repatriation. The film captures the reunion of Jewish and Muslim sha‘bī musicians who perform together for the first time since the Algerian War of Independence. Using theories of collective memory, the author explores how the film’s director, Safinez Bousbia, presents this reunion both as a repatriation of individual culture-bearers who embody a tradition and as a reconstitution of their shared memories. The film’s subsequent publicity and Bousbia’s ongoing initiatives have enabled the musicians to advocate for their music and their shared oral history as intangible cultural heritage. Using Bousbia’s project as a model, the author argues for an approach to ethnographic representation that empowers subjects of repatriation to become agents in cultural preservation.

Keywords: collective memory, music repatriation, intangible cultural heritage, Algeria, sha‘bī, preservation, documentary

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