20 Handshakes for Peace
An ode to music that undoes the distinction between 'Arabs' and 'Jews', national borders and political differences. Jumana Manna travels across Israel and Palestine with recordings by German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann, who in the 1930s had a radio show on the Palestine Broadcasting Service called Oriental Music. Following in his footsteps, what do these songs sound like when performed today by Moroccan, Kurdish or Yemenite Jews, or by Samaritans, members of the urban and rural Palestinian communities, Bedouins and Coptic Christians?
The piecing together of a multi-faceted musical history of historical Palestine, as well as Manna’s own position in this, occurs in people’s living rooms, kitchens, front porches, as well as at workshops, while cooking and making coffee. In the background the conflict looms, but Manna moves seamlessly through linguistic, political, historical and territorial divisions. Music as a magical connector that unlocks diversity and trumps the logic of segregation and polarisation.