It was abit sad to leave the wonderful plac of Marseille… So ,on our way to Barcelona we decided to try out a new way of playing and meeting people. When reaching Montpellier we saw a big IKEA and a shopping mall. We decided to stop by and see how the Jali role would work in that context and how people would react to the music. However, it turned out to be more than difficult to be a spontaneous jali (West African story tellers and musicians) singing for peace and human meetings in a commercial space. No one wanted to lend us the electricity and guards in red where moving around everywhere looking at us with interest, as though we were criminals just by walking around with our instruments and equipment. In more or less sympathetic ways we were told by the shop/café owners that there were no idea of even trying; the red guards would throw us out immediately. One would have needed to make a formal request for a permission long in advance, leaving We then decided to move towards a place we knew well – IKEA. The red guards didn’t reach there but after a while of playing acoustic music (and doing interviews with people watching) an IKEA person came out saying that we shouldn’t play to close to the warehouse. And when we then walked back to the car, we even heard at a distance tt IKEA were calling for the “Swedish musicians”. But we brought with us some interviews with people who stopped by to listen and a first experience of bringing the music to people in unexpected places.
Conclusion: It is indeed complicated prac to practise th Jaliya (spirit of the Jalis) in commercial places in Europe – but important!