"Palestine is Not My Talent": An Interview with Tamer Nafar of DAM

from by Humble Mumbles

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“In the second verse I quote Mahmoud Darwish... Mahmoud Darwish says 'we will only be free and independent when a male poet can describe a naked dancing girl.' That’s what he says. But I think that we should take it further: we will become free only when a female poet can describe a male dancer. So that’s why I write about the honor, that’s it’s been written only by men. That’s why I write for Gaza and I write against the people who took the lights from Gaza... And that’s why I write for the refugees and I write against the Arab kings that are living in castles. And meanwhile, when i’m busy with these things, the love song became a refugee in the drawer, so it’s not gonna return… the song became a refugee..."

That’s Tamer Nafar talking about the lyrics of “Ya Reit," the theme song from the movie “Junction 48" (which Tamer co-wrote and stars in), coming to theatres in the US on March 3rd, 2017 (Trailer over here --> bit.ly/2lzmiLj)

In this episode, flabbergasted Humble Mumbles is proud to present Tamer Nafar, the incredibly talented artist and co-creator of Palestinian rap group DAM. In the first part of this episode, we're virtually led on a tour of his hometown of Lydd; in the second part, we're led on another journey: a personal long-form interview! Topics of discussion include: feminism, art and commercialism regarding musicmakers of the modern era, and, as he puts it, not being a geographical talent (“If my talent is the occupation, I won’t want it to end”).

Music for this episode consists of songs from the DAM canon (see below) and snippets from a live performance in Ramallah in 2016. The Lydd tour component pf this episode was recorded as part of an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation in 2015.

Unsolicited disclosure: about 90% of the interview part of this episode was relievedly excised because your host Humble Mumbles got way too big for her britches and tried to explain Tamer Nafar’s music and philosophy to him and it was ridiculous. Man, Humble Mumbles! Too much mumbling, not enough humbling. (constant refrain: the enemy is us!)

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DAM music in this episode includes:

Ya Reit (from the movie Junction 48) bit.ly/2lethc2
Who You R bit.ly/1ypc5xH
Superlancer bit.ly/2kR8cAY
Born Here bit.ly/1xkDnp8
Mama I Fell in Love with a Jew bit.ly/2leCTUl
If I Could Go Back in Time bit.ly/1gpAUzn
Who’s the Terrorist? bit.ly/1EWpMMd
Street Poetry bit.ly/2leMBpD
I Don’t Have Freedom bit.ly/1oj1yO7
DAM Live in Ramallah 2016 bit.ly/2m4CbaK

DAM-related movies:

Junction 48 (2016) is the film about which Tamer speaks, coming out in the U.S March 3, 2017. Israeli-Palestinian; semi-autobiographical. Hear director and stars talk about the movie here! bit.ly/2l08FC1

Channels of Rage (2003) is a fascinating early 2000s documentary about the rap (+ life) battles that develop between a younger Tamer Nafar and several rightist Zionist Israeli rappers bit.ly/2lDSFcb

Slingshot Hip Hop (2008) is a documentary on Palestinian hip hop throughout Gaza, the West Bank and 48/Israel bit.ly/1n98EMf

Just a few interesting examples of DAM and Tamer Nafar in media:

'The Godfather of Palestinian Rap' Hip Hop in the Holy Land, Noisey bit.ly/1O3KN89
'Israel v. Palestine' Rap News, The Juice Media bit.ly/1jMliYO
'"Israeli" Arabs - Are they really?' SocialTV bit.ly/2m0Vgh0
'Meet the Palestinian hip-hop artist at the center of Israel's culture wars' Los Angeles Times lat.ms/2iGstsO
'DAM’s new album “Dabke on the Moon”: an interview with Tamer Nafar' Electronic Intifada bit.ly/2m4GZNh
'Arab Rapper Tests The Limit Of Israel's Artistic Freedoms' NPR n.pr/2f1ZIpc
& so much more

Please like DAM on Facebook bit.ly/2lznyOx, follow them on Twitter bit.ly/2l0imQU & see them perform on tour www.damrap.com !

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"What is the Green Line?" & other Palestine questions for the curious American bit.ly/1zZhTQ4 / bit.ly/2lniKda / bit.ly/2lfiEWs

For more hand-wringing information on Lehava, the rightwing anti-miscegenation group, please see... bit.ly/2m1axi7 / bit.ly/2m0W7OD

The first part of this episode was recorded on an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation to Palestine/Israel. Join the next one! ifpb.org

Thanks so much to Tamer Nafar, DAM, IFPB & Never Forget Radio

Photo: DAM in Ramallah, Summer 2016

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from Humble Mumbles, track released February 20, 2017

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