Rajae El Mouhandiz – How art, music & lack of identity create a new hybrid global culture

Foto Rajae El Mouhaindez

Twitter @Rajae

The “one story” of Muslims and immigrants we hear in the news and politics every day is ignoring the many stories of millions of women and men who do not see themselves in that old story, but as authors and owners of a new story where globalism and hybrid cultures are the stage and vehicle. They represent a new story of being and belonging in the world. A story where history is honoured as the sacrifices of those who came before us. Their parents moved to the west to start something new, mixed with the old, and individuals like Rajae El Mouhandiz are the product. As the new stories they are shaping do not yet have a language and a platform, one has to start telling the stories through art and music. And personal strength.

Regarding Rajae El Mouhandiz
Rajae El Mouhandiz is a Dutch-Moroccan-Algerian poet, singer, composer, producer, and founder of the record label Truthseeker Records. After leaving her family at age 15 and being the first Moroccan to study at a Dutch conservatory at age 16. El Mouhandiz left classical music at age 20 to follow her own artistic path, seeking to incorporate her cultural roots. She started her own record label at age 25, released two albums and is currently developing her third album in Morocco. On international women’s day 2013 El Mouhandiz premiered her first short documentary film, about the acceptance of Muslim women in mainstream media and the music industry. Currently she is developing her second short film, focusing on her Maghreb heritage and the story of her grandfathers. She is also one of the 60 female curators of the groundbreaking international MUSLIMA exhibition, held in The USA, The Philipines, The U.A.E and Denmark. And together with the British Council Ireland and a Dutch theatre production company, El Mouhandiz is producing the Dutch and European version of the Hijabi Monologues; a theatre space for the experiences of Muslim women; a space to breathe as they are; a space that does not claim to tell every story and speak for every voice. The Dutch premiere is planned in September 2014. Rajae was nominated as Muslim Leader of tomorrow in 2005. She was nominated by Elsevier magazine as one of Hollands’ 10 biggest talents in 2007, in the field of contemporary music and from 2009 – 2012 she was the only female contemporary artist to be nominated on the list of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. This year Rajae has been nominated for the 5th year in a row. More information: www.rajae.net

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