International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads (Essaouira, Morocco, June 18-23, 2018) - Final Programme, Abstract Booklet, and Final Report

ICTM Study Group ‘Mediterranean Music Studies' symposium:

"Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads"

18-23 June, 2018

Essaouira, Morroco

Hosted by the Association Essaouira-Mogador at Dar Suiri


Background, aims

In this symposium, the Mediterranean Music Study Group aims to provide a forum to encourage debates and foster collaborations among scholars across the region, focusing on the theme “Music and Sound at the Mediterranean Crossroads.” We invite papers that address the different ways in which music and sound have shaped and continue to shape particular notions about the Mediterranean, focusing on this sea according to the Braudelian paradigms—which understand it as a unified and coherent space—but also according to more recent and emerging paradigms which posit the Mediterranean as a fragmented, volatile and contested space—a place where, quoting Tullia Magrini, “countless diversities converge.” In this context, we invite participants to re-think the role of music and sound in the contemporary and historic Mediterranean, and to explore relationships, entanglements, experiences and interactions between Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Atlantic Ocean through the circulation of music and sound in an “acquacentric” cultural space such as the Mediterranean.

How can music and sound help us to understand the nuances of these interactions in a place where “countless diversities converge?” What can these “sound waves” reveal about the contemporary and historical re-workings of the Mediterranean at its crossroads? And what can we learn about the intricate dynamics of culture by paying attention to how music and sound circulate in, across, and around the Mediterranean? Participants are encouraged to address music and sound at the Mediterranean crossroads in relation to a broad range of topics including, but not limited to movement and circulation, ritual and performance, religious beliefs and practices, technology, gender and sexuality, colonialism, regionalism, race, language, modernity and tradition, youth movements, and cultural politics.

This will be the very first meeting of the Study Group to be hosted in North Africa, and we are tremendously excited about this new development to which we have been aspiring to for a long time. We are particularly excited about holding the symposium in Morocco and in the city of Essaouira; a city characterized by its diverse cultures, languages and religious traditions; a city which has a long tradition of hosting some of the most important festivals of music and the arts; and a city at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. Because the symposium will intersect with some of the dates of the Gnawa World Music Festival, we are also excited to draw from, and interact with some of the events taking place during this festival.

Programme Committee

  • Alessandra Ciucci (Chair)  
  • André Azoulay
  • Ruth Davis
  • Ioannis Tsioulakis

Local Arrangements Committee

  • Tarik Ottmani
  • Kaoutar Chakir
  • Tony Langlois
  • Lhoussain Simour

Symposium Programme and Abstract Booklet  

See attached files at the bottom of this post


Local Arrangements Information


The airport of Essaouira is small and served by four international airlines, easyJet, Royal Air Maroc, Transavia, and TUI fly. Direct flights to Essaouira are available from London (easyJet), Paris (Transavia), Lyon (easyjet) and Charleroi (TUI fly).

Alternatively, it is possible to catch a connecting flight from Casablanca, Marrakech and Agadir. From these airports you may also get to Essaouira by car. We strongly recommend you reserve a private car with a driver in advance, and to use LMK Navette with which we have agreed to the prices listed in the pdf attached at the bottom of this page (prices are in Moroccan Dirhams/MAD).

You may also decide to use grands taxis (shared rides), but you should do so with caution. From the airport of Essaouira to the city of Essaouira the price is approximately 150 MAD per seat ($16 or €14). From the airports of Marrakech and Agadir to Essaouira the price per a seat is approximately 200 MAD ($22 or €18) and 800 MAD ($87 or €70) if you wish to rent the entire car for yourself.

From Marrakech, you may also reach Essaouira by bus for 80 MAD ($9 or €7). We recommend you use Supratours buses. All the germane information is available here or here.



Please note that because of the annual Gnawa Festival in Essaouira (June 21-24), we encountered a number of challenges in reserving affordable hotels. Aside from the few recommended hotels located at a walking distance to the location of the symposium venue, we also reserved 70 rooms at La Perle de Mogador, a convenient hotel recommended by our host and located about 2.5 Km from the symposium venue. We have arranged for free shuttles to and from the symposium at no extra cost. In the evening it will be possible to use small taxis to reach the medina in 5-6 minutes for a cost of approximately 8 MAD ($0.90 or €0.70).



Recommended Hotels walking distance of the symposium venue:

Ryad Authentique (6 rooms and 1 suite available June 17-24)

-Double room with breakfast included 600 MAD ($66 or €53)

-Suite with breakfast included 850 MAD ($93 or €75)

Miramar (3 rooms available June 17-23)

-Double room with breakfast included 736 MAD ($80 or €65)

Les Terrasses d'Essaouira (2 rooms available June 17-23) 

-Double room with breakfast included 650 MAD ($71 or €57)

Ryad al Zahia (3 suites available June 17-25

Reserve directly to this site:

-Suite for 4 people $ 130 or € 105

-Suite for 5 people $ 149 or € 120


Recommended hotel about 1.5 Km from the symposium venue (5 minutes by car and 20 minutes walking):

Atlas Essaouira Spa (10 rooms available June 17-24

-Double room with breakfast included $109 or €88 (prices vary if you book through or Expedia $86 or €71 )

*Rooms are NOT guaranteed. Reserve directly with the Hotel, 25% deposit at the time of the reservation


Recommended hotel about 2.5 Km from the symposium venue with free shuttle bus to the symposium venue (5-6 minutes by car and 30 minutes walking):

La Perle de Mogador (70 rooms available June 17-24

-Double room with breakfast included until June 20 692 MAD ($72 or €61) and from June 21-24 802 MAD ($87 or €70)


To reserve a room, you need to contact Kaoutar Chakir and arrange your reservation directly with her. After confirming your reservation with Kaoutar, you will need to contact the hotel and proceed to book your room in accordance to the hotel’s rules and regulations. Kaoutar can be reached by email: