MENA, WANA, SWANA, a growing force in the music industry

Did you say, MENA, WANA, SWANA?
MENA: Middle-East and Northern Africa, most commonly used, but should be retired soon as Middle-East is a post-colonial term. NB: calling Northern Africans Arabs is also a colonial habit, Northern Africa has been colonised several times, and the scars are ever-lasting. Another possible word is Maghreb (although it seems to have a colonialist etymology too in the Arab language), but better to check individually because Egyptians for example, may not agree with this association.
WANA: West Asia and Northern Africa, seems alright, but some need more refined geography.
SWANA: South-West Asia and Northern Africa, possibly the best one, but also the least likely to be understood by a bigger number of readers/listeners.
The list of countries included in these terms varies depending on one’s understanding of socio-economics and geography. At dif we would tend to say, the more the merrier, but of course the decision to be included or not belongs to the people/s one might be referring to.

No matter the acronym, culture, and especially music, from South West Asia and Northern Africa are gaining importance by the minute, whether in terms of industry or in the hearts of fans. Artists such as Omar Souleyman, Nicole Moudaber, EMEL, or Sevdaliza have become household names. More locally in Berlin, the new SWANA capital away from the regions, and despite high levels of discrimination (daily racism, reduced opportunities, cancelled jobs for obscure / not so obscure reasons, censorship, etc.), we also clearly notice a growth in representation and events, as well as more generally in global sales with an increase of 35% in recent yearson streaming platforms, with a UAE edition of Mutek, with the ever-enduring festival Irtijal, and so much more.

Have some suggestions on acronyms, want to learn more about SWANA communities in the cultural and music scenes in Berlin, want to support these communities, need support as a member of these communities or ally? You can write us via info @ dif-ev .org or via the (anonymous) contact form.
Want to read more about SWANA music from a trusted source, check out articles by Christina Hazboun.