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Naïssam Jalal sets her poem "D'ailleurs nous sommes ici" to music

In collaboration with photographer Seka, the French-Syrian flutist takes up the pen to speak with the children of immigration to reimagine everyday representation. 

A prolific flutist and composer, Naïssam Jalal’s career has been punctuated by discographic gems and prestigious awards (Coup de cœur de l’Académie Charles Cros, Victoires du Jazz, Prix des Musiques d’ICI). Un Autre Monde, her eighth album recorded with the National Belgian Orchestra, marked the tenth anniversary of her ensemble “Rythms of Resistance” in February 2021, aptly named given her extra-musical commitments. At a time when the question of identity is monopolizing the French public debate, the musician of Syrian origin has teamed up with photographer Seka (co-founder of the independent gallery Street Dream Gallery) to unveil the video of her musical poem “D’ailleurs nous sommes ici”. 

As children of immigration, we are presented and represented, in the media, the arts, the social sciences,” she says. “We are poor, miserable, unhappy. Victims or culprits according to ideologies. But too often we are not the ones doing the talking. And too often we accept this vision and make it our own. Here, far from speeches and ideologies, we have filmed ourselves in our daily lives to bear witness to our beauty”.

Most of the scenes in this short film were shot in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, in La Courneuve, Bagnolet, Montreuil, Villetaneuse, or Aulnay-sous-Bois. “The characters in this video are my friends,” she adds. “Everything is real here. Our stories, our families too. Our friendship, our benevolence, our joys, our hopes, our parties, our shared flavors are real. We are different and yet together. We do not tolerate each other, we love each other”.

Un autre monde by Naïssam Jalal, still available. 

Listen to “D’ailleurs nous sommes ici” in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.