IMAGINING THE PAST FORWARD: FLAMENCO, ANDALUSIAN MUSIC, IDENTITY, AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY IN THE FESTIVAL DES ANDALOUSIES ATLANTIQUES D'ESSAOUIRA
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This thesis examines the Festival des Andalousies Atlantiques d’Essaouira (FAAE) between 2010-2020 and uses the 2020 edition as a case study, focusing specifically on flamenco, Andalusian music and the festival’s function in current Moroccan-Spanish relations. Scholarship pertaining to the FAAE is virtually non-existent and there has been no in-depth study of it; this thesis presents the first extensive study of the festival, demonstrating how it, and moreover its music as a representational force, is being used as a tool for cultural diplomacy between Spain and Morocco. By examining performances from the past decade, along with an analysis of two performance pieces in the 2020 edition, this thesis also demonstrates that while performers look to the past with utopian ideologies of an imagined, romanticized al-Andalus and convivencia, they are actively redefining identity and authenticity.