Public Evening Event: Access to Waxes – Arab Collections of the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv

A presentation of recordings from Siwa Oasis in Egypt engraved in wax cylinders kicks off the AGYA workshop ‘Access to Waxes: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Digitization and Open Access Publication of the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv’s Arab Collections’. Researchers, artists, and practitioners from Arab countries, Germany and beyond present best practices of presentation and preservation of shared cultural heritage.

The event will introduce the Arab collections of the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv (PA) which is part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program (World Documentary Heritage). The collections consist of very early acoustic field recordings of chants, music as well as speech from different Arab regions including Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine as well as the Gulf region recorded between 1890 and 1935.

Recordings engraved in wax cylinders from Oasis Siwa in Egypt and collected by musicologist Brigitte Schiffer will be presented and discussed as a particular example. The audience will be able to directly engage with recordings. Be it through a listening station inspired by the desk of Brigitte Schiffer or a Phonograph Demonstration of Wax Cylinder Recordings from Oasis Siwa curated by AGYA member Dr. Matthias Pasdzierny and Albrecht Wiedmann (Ethnologisches Museum Berlin).

The workshop is a project by the AGYA working group Common Heritage and Common Challenges and organized in cooperation with the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin/Humboldt Forum.


Welcoming Addresses
AGYA Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Verena Lepper, Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin, Germany
Prof. Dr. Lars-Christian Koch, Ethnologisches Museum/Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany

Opening Speeches
AGYA member Dr. Nadia Bahra, University of Constantine 2, Algeria  
AGYA member Dr. Lando Kirchmair, Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany
Albrecht Wiedmann, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, Germany

Keynote Lecture
“Sur un Theme de L’Oasis Siwa” – Brigitte Schiffer and her Sahara recordings, 1932/33
AGYA member Dr. Matthias Pasdzierny, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), Germany
AGYA member Dr. Ikram Hili, University of Sousse, Tunisia

Phonograph Demonstration
Wax Cylinder Recordings – Oasis Siwa, Egypt
Albrecht Wiedmann, Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin, Germany

Musical Delights
Brigitte Schiffer: Quatuor a Cordes (1934)
Mixis Quartet, Universität der Künste (UdK)/Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin, Germany

Interactive Installation and Listening Station
Take a Seat at the Ethnologist’s Desk
AGYA member Dr. Matthias Pasdzierny, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), Berlin, Germany
Composer Cya Bazzaz, Berlin, Germany

Contact & Registration

To participate online, kindly register with Masetto Bonitz (masetto.bonitz(at) before 1 December 2021.

Date: 02 December 2021

Time: 05:30 pm - 08:15 pm

Venue: Online

Language: English

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