Listening, resistance and mobile phone playlists: musical listening practices of Syrian women living as refugees in northern Jordan

Boswall, Karen and Al Akash, Ruba (2017) Listening, resistance and mobile phone playlists: musical listening practices of Syrian women living as refugees in northern Jordan. Social Dynamics, 43 (2). pp. 167-183. ISSN 0253-3952

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Abstract

In 2011, when the Syrians poured into the streets in nationwide protest against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, they did so in song. Public places became filled with the voices of men, women and children who gained courage and determination through an increasing repertoire of songs shared through social media and learned in the homes and on the streets. Later as the violence intensified in the street, the women returned to their homes, their voices no longer heard in the public protests, their songs playing now from behind closed doors. When their homes were destroyed, many took their children and walked to the safety of neighbouring Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, songs saved on SIM cards tucked into their bras. This paper looks at those living in the border towns of northern Jordan and at the role the revolutionary songs play in their lives. Through analysis of the songs on the mobile phones of 45 women and interviews with them and their families on the role these have in their day-to-day life, British ethnomusicologist Karen Boswall and Jordanian social anthropologist Dr Ruba Al Akash ask how the songs are contributing to the women’s sense of self and their connection with the country they left behind.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Syrian refugees; mobile phone; cell phone; voice; resistance
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Material Digital Culture
Depositing User: Karen Boswall
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 16:29
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 10:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/73282

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