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May 13, 2017
Meany Hall

While myriad of simulacra and fictitious representations of Arab and Middle Eastern women fill the media in the so-called “West,” the so-called “Middle East” continues to culturally thrive and weave complex artistic creations out of its rich history and critical present. This complexity and urgent beauty is hidden away under mediatized “veils” and misrepresentations verging on outdated orientalism. Enter Emel Mathlouthi, with her towering presence, a musicality that straddles multiple genres and unexpected cultural references, and a physicality so vibrant it’s alarming. Emel Mathlouthi ruptures multiple “veils” and tears through sediments of orientalism, hate speech and ignorance as she performs, in Arabic, French and English, original compositions and lyrics from the gut.