What is Alhan Libiyya?
Alhan Libiyya is a Candid Foundation project which celebrates the music of Libya, past and present, and the rich diversity of music-making styles from all across the country - to be enjoyed primarily by Libyans themselves.
The project brings together over 25 aspiring Libyan musicians between the ages of 18 and 30 from different backgrounds to foster their creativity and produce a shared vision of Libyan music.
The project’s primary audience is Libyans, wherever they reside, but Alhan Libiyya also welcomes those from the wider Arabic-speaking world and beyond.
Who is Alhan Libiyya for?
Alhan Libiyya is a firmly Libya- and Libyan-facing project which seeks to engage primarily with a Libyan audience either within Libya itself or outside the country. Candid Foundation may be based in Berlin, Germany, but the strength and success of Alhan Libiyya are built on formal and informal collaboration with Libyan musicians, music producers, creative talents, cultural figures, and others.
Alhan Libiyya’s outputs will be available in Arabic and content will be specifically tailored to a Libyan audience. Most of the project’s content will also be available in English to increase the visibility of the Libyan musicians’ work to an international audience, facilitating connections with helpful contacts beyond the Libyan context.
We understand that Amazigh languages as well as other languages such as Tedaga are widely spoken in Libya, and we hope that the music featured in the project will reflect this important linguistic diversity to some extent.
What will Alhan Libiyya involve?
Alhan Libiyya brings together over 25 young Libyan musicians from different regions, musical traditions, and genders. In eight teams, they are remotely collaborating under the guidance of experienced Libyan music professionals to create a unique eight-track album, which will reflect Libyans’ contemporary musical diversity and rich heritage. The album is scheduled for release in December 2020 and will be accompanied by bespoke music videos.
Rather than repackaging Libyan music for an international audience, Alhan Libiyya supports young Libyan musicians to find a space to create something unique together while reflecting on Libya’s shared musical history and heritage.
The process of producing this album is the starting point for the formation of a wider collaborative network of Libyan musicians and music professionals, which will facilitate sustainable creative exchange.
What else does Alhan Libiyya involve?
For several reasons Libyan music has not achieved the profile of its regional neighbors despite its rich heritage, diverse traditions, and creative talents. Alhan Libiyya’s contribution to raising the profile of Libyan music both among Libyans themselves and beyond is an interview-based video series with Libya-based musician entitled Lahni, and several podcast episodes exploring Libyan musical heritage through icon songs.
Neither Lahni nor the podcast aims to present a comprehensive view of Libya, Libyans, or Libyan culture or music but rather to present one perspective among many. They instead serve to contextualize the work of the young Libyan artists participating in Alhan Libiyya and as an inclusive way of showing that Libyan art, culture, and music is not restricted by age, genre, or background.