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Thu, 23 Mar


Better Read Than Dead

We'll Play Till We Die: Mark LeVine in-conversation

Join Mark LeVine to celebrate the release his latest book, We'll Play till We Die. Mark will be in conversation with journalist Lucia Sorbera.

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We'll Play Till We Die: Mark LeVine in-conversation
We'll Play Till We Die: Mark LeVine in-conversation

Time & Location

23 Mar 2023, 6:30 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

In his iconic musical travelogue Heavy Metal Islam, Mark LeVine first brought the views and experiences of a still-young generation to the world. In We'll Play till We Die, he joins with this generation's leading voices to write a definitive history of the era, closing with a cowritten epilogue that explores the meanings and futures of youth music from North Africa to Southeast Asia. 

We'll Play till We Die dives into the revolutionary music cultures of the Middle East and larger Muslim world before, during, and beyond the waves of resistance that shook the region from Morocco to Pakistan. This sequel to Mark LeVine's celebrated Heavy Metal Islam shows how some of the world's most extreme music not only helped inspire and define region-wide protests, but also exemplifies the beauty and diversity of youth cultures throughout the Muslim world.  

Two years after Heavy Metal Islam was published in 2008, uprisings and revolutions spread like wildfire. The young people organizing and protesting on the streets—in dozens of cities from Casablanca to Karachi—included the very musicians and fans LeVine spotlighted in that book. We'll Play till We Die revisits the groundbreaking stories he originally explored, sharing what has happened to these musicians, their music, their politics, and their societies since then. The book covers a stunning array of developments, not just in metal and hip hop scenes, but with emo in Baghdad, mahraganat in Egypt, techno in Beirut, and more. LeVine also reveals how artists have used global platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud to achieve unprecedented circulation of their music outside corporate or government control. 

The first collective ethnography and biography of the post-2010 generation, We'll Play till We Die explains and amplifies the radical possibilities of music as a revolutionary force for change.

Mark LeVine is a Guggenheim-winning musician who has recorded and toured with acclaimed performers, including Mick Jagger, Chuck D, Dr. John, Ozomatli, Hassan Hakmoun, Seun and Femi Kuti, and other leading Middle Eastern and African artists. His recording on Ozomatli's album Street Signs won a Grammy in 2005. He is also Professor of Middle Eastern and African Histories at the University of California, Irvine. His many books include Twilight of Empire, coedited with Viggo Mortensen. He is also author of Overthrowing Geography and coeditor of One Land, Two States.

Lucia Sorbera is Senior Lecturer and Chair of Discipline of Arabic Language and Cultures at the University of Sydney. She studies the colonial and post-colonial history of the Arab World and Africa, decolonial and Indigenous epistemologies, with a focus on women and gender. She has published widely in history of Egyptian feminism, women’s political activism, and cultural productions in the Arab world, among them, the book Sex and Desire in Muslim Cultures. Beyond Norms and Transgression from the Abbasids to the Present. Day (with Serena Tolino and Aymon Kreil, I.B. Tauris, 2021). Her most recent awards are the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship in the Laureate Program in International History at the University of Sydney 2017, the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute (2021), and the Distinguished Visiting Scholarship at the Advanced Research Collaborative, CUNY Graduate Center (2022).


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