Shadia Mansour; Passion, Politics and Power




17h30 - 19h00


Le Space


Shadia Mansour was born in London in 1985. Her parents are Christian Palestinians originally from Haifa and Nazareth. She grew up in the UK and spent summers visiting relatives in Haifa and Nazareth. Influenced by Arabic performers such as Fairouz, Umm Kelthoum and Mohammed Abdel Wahab, she began singing at Palestinian protest rallies as a child and she became known in London’s Palestinian community for performing classical Arab songs of protest at an early age. She went on to study performing arts before beginning her career as an MC.

Shadia Mansour began rapping in 2003 and has gained recognition in the Middle East, Europe and the United States for her own songs and collaborations with other artists. She performs wearing a traditional Palestinian thawb and has said that she considers herself to be part of a « musical intifada » against the occupation of Palestine, conservatism and oppression of women. Her first single, “Al Kufiya Arabiya” (The Kufiya is Arab), was written when Mansour discovered an American made blue-and-white colored Arab scarf with Stars of David on it. Mansour introduced her song on stage in New York: “You can take my falafel and hummus, but don’t fucking touch my keffiyeh ». She also said, “My music sometimes sounds hostile. It’s my anger coming out and it’s resistance. It’s non-violent resistance.”

Shadia Mansour has recorded music with producer Johnny “Juice” Rosado of Public Ennemy and was featured on Chuck D’s website shemovement.com. She has also collaborated with artists like Iraqi rappers Lowkey and Narcy, and Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. Mansour has toured with Existence is Resistance, an organization supporting hip-hop shows in Palestine, and is part of the “Arab League” of Hip Hop, a collection of performers who share views on the Middle East.

Shadia Mansour also takes a stand against gender stereotyping of women. She has refused to perform to gender-separated audiences. Mansour’s music has been challenged by conservatives within Palestine, and she has addressed that opposition to her music in her lyrics. She initially tried to change her voice to sound more like male MCs, but over time Mansour has developed her own style as a female MC while rejecting the sexualization of women in hip-hop.

On Friday, 10th of November, Shadia Mansour will talk to us.
Get to know the artist behind the art.
What moves and motivates her.
Get to meet, Shadia Mansour

Entrance: Free contribution