Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fez Encounters programme: Sacred Music Festival

The Fez Encounters, or Rencontres de Fes, take place during the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and always provide thought-provoking topics for discussion and reflection. Here's a look at this year's programme.

This year's Festival theme is Journey of Initiation: from mystery to revelation, and the talks and discussions take place along these lines. Director of the Festival, Mohamed Kabbaj, says,

"We all know of the great mystical figures, those emblems of each religion, such as Ghazali, the poet of the Revelation; Maimonides, exiled to Fez; Charles de Foucault in the solitude of the desert; the Buddha and his enlightenment. Knowing about such world figures has nourished civilisations.

'Man knows here what he doesn't know there', wrote Ibn Arabi, whose entire work encompassed a journey of initiation. This great mystical poet cconsidered every journey as being towards God: 'from Him, in Him, towards Him'."

09h00-13h00 Saturday 5 toWednesday 9 June at the Batha Museum

Saturday 5 June: The Journey into the Self
Giorgio Agamben (philosopher, Italy): What is mystery?
Marie Balmary (psychoanalyst, France): On the path of revelation
Michael Barry (writer, consultant for Aga Khan Foundation, US): The Spiritual Saga of the Maghreb
Dany-Robert Dufour (philosopher, France): The internal experience
Abdelwahab Meddeb (writer, France): Initiation and the secret: Hallaj Jean-Luc Nancy (philosopher, France): Evidence of mystery
Alexandre Lacrois (moderator; writer, France)

Sunday 6 June: Journey into Writings
Maurice Arama (art historian, Morocco): Eugene Delacroix
Jan Assmann (Egyptologist, Germany): Mozart's enchanted flute
Kenneth Brown (anthropologist, US): The challenges of translation
Danielle Cohen-Levinas (philospher and musicologist, France): The writings of the Exile Jean-Michel Hirt (psychoanalyst, France): Journey into the ocean of the Q'uran
Daniel Mesguich (theatre and opera producer, France): Journey to Elseneur
Samuela Pagani (researcher, Ottoman empire, Italy): The flight of Jonas, from the Q'uran to Ibn Arabi

Monday 7 June: The Pilgrimage
Abdellah Hamoudi (anthropologist, Morocco/US): The pilgrimage to Mecca
Mohammed Kenbib (specalist in Moroccan Judaism, Morocco/France): Jewish pilgrimage in the lands of Islam
Robert Lanquar (international businessman specialising in tourism and the environment, France): Caravans and Pilgrimages
Shantum Seth (Zen Buddhist teacher, India): In the footsteps of the Buddha
Emile Shoufani (priest of Nazareth, Palestine): Birth into the Light in the face of God
Max-Jean Zins (political scientist specialising in India, France)
Jean Mouttapa (moderator; inter-faith writer, France)

Tuesday 8 June: Exile
Pierre Assouline (journalist, France)
Daniel Brown (radio producer, France/US): The sounds of transatlantic exile into slavery and the birth of world music
Ferdinando Coloretti (painter, Italy): The geography of the journey
Driss el Yazami (president, Moroccan Community Abroad; Morocco/US):
Ahmed Essyad (musician, Morocco/France): The exile in his own land
Jean Daniel (writer, Algeria): Claude Levi-Strauss
Joseph Maila (sociologist, Lebanon): The exile outside the kingdom
Djenane Kareh Tager (moderator; writer on religions, France)

Wednesday 9 June: The Mythical Journey
Karima Berger (novelist, France): Isabelle Eberhardt
Ali Benmakhlouf (philosopher, writer, France): To travel, survey, and learn: Africa, Europe and Asia with Leo the African, Ibn Battuta and Al Biruni
Barbara Cassin (philologist and philosopher): The Odyssey and the day of return
Olivier Germain-Thomas (philospher, France): Some enigmas on the adventures of Marco Polo in China
Jordi Savall (musician and composer, Spain): Jerusalem, mythical city
Kiya Tabassian (musician, Iran): To find oneself in the other - path to creation
Abdelhadi Tazi (historian and royal councillor, Morocco)
Nathalie Sarthou-Lajus (moderator; writer and philosopher, France)

All these talks will have simultaneous translations into French and English. Each morning costs 10 Euros per person, or you can have a pass to all of them at 41 Euros. If you have a general pass to all festival events, the talks are included in your fee.

The comprehensive Fez Encounters programme is directed by Nadia Benjelloun who was awarded the Grande Medaille de la Francophonie by the Academie Francaise in July last year.

International Director, Nadia Benjelloun


In the evenings from 18h00 to 20h00 free talks will be held at various venues.

Sunday 6 June at Dar Batha:
Michael Barry: Medieval Islamic and Christian art

Monday 7 June at Palais Jamai:
Jean Clair: From Humboldt to Hubble: the cosmic quest as a journey of initiation

Tuesday 8 June at Palais Jamai:
Edouard Glissant: poetry and prose reading with music

Wednesday 9 June at Palais Jamai:
Hassan Massoudy: Arabic calligraphy

Thursday 10 June at Dar Batha:
Abdellatif Laabi: poetry and prose reading with music

Friday 11 June at Palais Jamai:
Jahida Wehbe: songs

For all The View from Fez stories on the 2010 Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, click here.
For the Festival programme in English, click here, and in French, click here.
For Festival ticket delivery service, click here.

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