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ARCHIVES OF SOUND: Syrian Cassette Archives

12:00pm-2:00pm on Friday 26 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

SYRIAN CASSETTE ARCHIVES is project aiming to document what can be called Syria’s cassette era, dating from the 1980s to the present day. At the heart of the collection are 400+ audio tapes acquired by audio archivist Mark Gergis between 1997 and 2010, reflecting years of research and personal connections with local music shops, producers, distributors and musicians around the country. 

The collection is broad in scope and features an overview of musical styles from Syria’s many communities, including Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds, Armenians and Iraqis who were displaced by US/UK-led sanctions and war throughout the 2000s. 

Given the often-inherently ephemeral nature of retail cassettes, many were not digitised or reissued and would be difficult to find again even without a decade-long conflict within the country. Many former creators and producers have since fled Syria or been displaced within the country, and long-standing music circuits and traditions have been disrupted. 

MARK GERGIS is an Iraqi-American producer, musician and audio-visual archivist known for his global music releases on the Sublime Frequencies label, among others. Since the early 2000s, his cultural work has focused on regional folk-pop music from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including regional choubi and dabke (folk and pop) music from Iraq and Syria, as well as the musical outputs of diaspora Asian communities in the United States during the mid-to-late 20th century. 

Organised by the  'Archives of the Disappeared' Research Network at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).

Convenor: Mezna Qato (Newnham College)

Please book for this event here:

Booking/Registration is: RECOMMENDED

Twitter: @ArchivesandRuin, @crasshlive @meznaqato

Additional Information

Age: Adults, Young Adults 12 – 18
Timing: Live Stream
Cost: free
Event Capacity: unlimited
Theme: Explore, Society
Image copyright: Marg Gergis 2020

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