"I cried power": The (im)possibility of female freedom in Le jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter (Darina Al Joundi)
Nottingham French Studies
Edinburgh University Press
Le Jour où Nina Simone a cessé de chanter narrates Darina Al-Joundi's experiences of the Lebanese civil war, and a restriction that is personal, social, gendered and religious. It represents a resistance through performance, via appropriation of a combative persona and of secular lyrics by Nina Simone which Al-Joundi uses to ‘cry power’ by collapsing boundaries between self and other, East and West, thought and experience. This article analyses the tension between imposed restrictions and a desired ‘freedom’, setting established theories of exile (Said) in dialogue with more specific discussions of Lebanon and its social restriction of women. This interrogates the ways in which a putative ‘freedom’ is constructed or diagnosed as ‘madness’, concluding that the only possibility for negotiating any measure of real ‘freedom’ is in crossing borders and developing a new model of female ‘freedom’ contingent on the fragile and ever-shifting boundaries between representations of East and West.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Edinburgh University Press via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 53, pp. 63 - 75
Place of publication