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Between Art for Art's Sake and Musical Protest: How Musicians from Beirut React to War and Violence

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Abstract:

This article focuses on musicians in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, and analyzes their diverse and often contradictory reactions to the ongoing violence and to war in Lebanon. They generally respond in one of two opposing ways, either by trying to ignore it and to concentrate on music making or by siding with one group of the society and becoming involved in protest and/or propaganda. Between these two extremes, however, this article highlights a range of more nuanced positions and dynamics, including opportunism, cynicism, anger, and fascination with violence. The article further shows that violence does not stop at the Lebanese borders, or within the Middle East, but includes structural and symbolic violence in Europe and the USA.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2011.539825

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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