It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of singer and poet Idir on May 2, 2020, following an illness.
The Kabyles and all the Amazighs are losing a true monument of their culture. Idir was born seventy years ago in Ait-Yanni, a village perched on a mountain in Kabylia. He became known thanks to his first song, "A vava inu va" composed in 1973, sung all over the world in fifteen different languages. Without wanting to, he had become the ambassador of the Amazigh language, culture and cause, persecuted in Algeria but also in all the other North African countries by states infatuated with pan-Arabism and Islamism.
In fact, Idir was not only a poet and a singer, he was also a true defender of the Amazigh identity, speaking out in the media to assert the right to exist for his mother tongue in his country and throughout North Africa. He sang about the suffering of women, emigration, the thirst for freedom of his people but also the joy and beauty of his native Kabylia.
Drawing his words and sounds from the depths of his ancestral culture, he has amazed millions of Amazighs and non Amazighs, he has made his own and others love the Amazigh language and has largely contributed to awakening the consciousness of his people.
As an activist for rights and freedoms, he did not hesitate to take the side of laicity and to castigate Islamists, sowers of hatred and "star extinguishers". While he filled the halls all over Europe and the world, he was forbidden to sing in Kabylia and the rest of Algeria for almost forty years. He was a political and cultural exile who already in 1993 said to the "Algerian government" in a song: "kkert att lhum", which means "get out! ».
Viscerally attached to his Kabyle and Amazigh language and culture, he was open to the world and to others, singing with artists from various musical and cultural backgrounds such as Manu Chao, Dan Ar Braz, Maxime Leforestier, Gilles Servat, Geoffrey Oryema, etc. He was a man who was open to the world and to others. Today, personalities as different as François Hollande, former President of the French Republic, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Zinédine Zidane, footballer of Kabyle origin, Patrick Bruel, singer and actor, pay him a vibrant tribute. Unesco recognizes him as "an eminent ambassador of Kabyle and Berber cultures".
Idir is gone but he will remain alive in the hearts and minds of millions of men and women. He bequeaths to us a heritage of inestimable value that has inspired and will continue to inspire generations of Amazighs who will continue in one way or another his artistic, cultural and humanistic work.
Thank you artist, rest in peace!
Tanemmirt anazur, sgunfu g talwit ! tanemmirt anazur, sgunfu g talwit !
Paris, 21/04/2970 – 3/05/2020
Le Bureau du CMA Auteur: CMA Date : 2020-05-14 00:03:00
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