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EVENT-CAST: Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Rap Music in Israel: A Bridge between East & West

Photo for EVENT-CAST: Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Rap

Photo credit: Jeff Daniels/UCLA

A talk by Visiting Assistant Professor Uri Dorchin, an anthropologist and former radio DJ. He explored the significance of Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) music in the formation of Israeli rap. Event held November 13, 2019.

About the Talk

Since its foundation Israel has regarded itself as a European outpost in the Middle-East. Accordingly, Muzika Mizrahit, i.e. oriental music made by Jews of Arab descent, was traditionally excluded from the local mainstream. One musical scene that constantly challenges this approach is that of Israeli rap. Why does the most American-oriented genre - local practitioners of which exemplify the diversity in Israeli society - constantly feature Mizrahi musical elements. In the talk, Dorchin analyzed the layers of symbolic meaning Israeli rappers attach to Mizrahiut (identifying with or being a Mizrahi Jew), including a type of local "blackness" associated with marginality, and a positioning between East and West.


About the Speaker

Dr. Uri Dorchin is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies for the 2019-20 academic year and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at theAcademic College in Zefat, Israel. In 2018-19, Dorchin served as the Israel Institute Visiting Assistant Professor at the Nazarian Center. Dorchin received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology from Ben GurionUniversity of the Negev. He is the author of the book Real Time: Hip-Hop in Israel/Israeli Hip Hop (Tel Aviv: Resling, in Hebrew, 2012) and numerous articles, including “Flowing Beyond Sectarian Ethno-politics:Ethnography of Jewish and Arab Rap in Israel" (Ethnopolitics, 2017).


Event co-sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Department of Ethnomusicology, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

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Duration: 00:41:20