El Borrache: The Songs of Women

El Borrache: is it just a form of cultural heritage, spontaneously transmitted between women? Or is it a way to reappropriate an expression of freedom that had been hijacked by male culture? This podcast explores an artistic cultural expression, praciticed by women in the southern and western regions of Tunisia. An expression deeply rooted in the history of the country and its geographical scope. 
31 March 2021
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Created by
Rabeb Srairi
Rabeb Srairi
Montage, mixing and sound design
Oussema Gaidi
Editorial support
Bochra Triki
Tayma Ben Ahmed

" El Borrache" was a steady companion throughout Rabeb Srairi's childhood. These short songs, accompanied by light percussion, are sung by women living in rural areas. Where is it from? What stories do they tell?

Rabeb Srairi met up with some of these women and experts to find out more. She learned that Bourrache, beyond the  popular music, also reflected political, private and public opinions, and the songs often convey messages of freedom and revolt.

What if Bourrache was also a way to reappropriate an expression of freedom that had been hijacked by male culture? 

Episode guests:

Ali Saidane: researcher specialised in cultural heritage

Jlidi Laouini: poet and song writer

Aida Jebahi: poet and folk singer

Faouzia Harrabi: poet and folk singer

Halima Ziada: Amazigh from Zraoua, Tunisia

Zohra Lajnef: artist and music teacher

Manoubia Harmi: in charge of libraries and archives at the Center for Arab and Mediterranean Music, Ennejma Ezzahra, Tunisia


Tbarbich is an monthly series, exploring the very heart of Tunisian popular culture and its various forms of expression. Folk tales, songs, dances and well-known characters - immerse yourself in the stories that have been collecting dust in the scattered corners of the Tunisian collective memory. 

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Inkyfada Podcast is the first platform entirely dedicated to original Tunisian podcasts, and was conceived by Inkyfada media in collaboration with the in-house research and development laboratory, InkyLab.
Inkyfada joined the global podcast boom in 2017, when the team produced the first Tunisian audio documentary, diving deep into the belly of the El Kamour struggle taking place in the desert.
Since then, Inkyfada Podcast has produced a wide variety of documentaries, investigations, and podcast series, as well as articles accompanied by music; covering a multitude of contemporary issues in order to offer an immersive and alternative podcast experience.
Whilst exclusively offering audio content, the Inkyfada Podcast team upholds the same core values and principles of inkyfada.com, and is committed to producing high quality content though a dynamic and meticulous production process.
In addition to the permanent team, Inkyfada podcast works closely with various journalists, artists, illustrators, musicians and other content creators in order to diversify the platform and support artistic creativity.
These podcasts differ from traditional radiophonic content in that the applied production and editing process is more akin to cinematographic techniques, in addition to being web-based, downloadable and accessible on demand.
Additionally, Inkyfada Podcast uniquely offers subtitles in French, Arabic and English for all audio content, the majority of which is recorded in Tunisian or in the preferred language of the speaker in question.

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