The University of Iowa

African Studies Program welcomes musicians of the Nile Project

April 9th, 2015

By Lyombe Eko

On March 10, 2015, the African Studies Program, a constituent program of University of Iowa International Programs, hosted a reception for musicians of The Nile Project. The Nile Project is a collective of musicians from the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows in Eastern and North Eastern Africa. The collective’s vocalists sing in 11 different languages, exploring themes of identity, regional solidarity, cross-national, and cross-cultural relationships both between and within their respective countries.

International Programs Associate Provost and Dean Downing Thomas with musicians from The Nile Project at ASP reception (photo by Hancher)

Led by Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis, the Nile Project collective is interested in issues like water conservation and conflicts, the role of musicians in social movements, and crowdsourcing solutions for sustainability. It is on a year-long tour of the United States.

The Nile project was welcomed to International Programs by Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs, Downing Thomas and the co-Director of African Studies Program, Lyombe Eko, an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dean Thomas lauded the idea of the Nile Project and the opportunity it offered for cross-cultural education, knowledge and understanding. He stated that University of Iowa International Programs supports projects of this nature that promote the study and learning of Africa, its peoples and cultures. 

The Musicians of the Nile Project performed some of their innovative, multicultural pieces to the rapt audience of faculty and students.

the Nile Project

Nile Project musicians perform at the ASP reception (photo by Hancher)

Hancher brought The Nile Project to the University of Iowa campus for a weeklong residency from March 9-12. See more photos from their visit.

the Nile Project

Members of the Nile Project at the reception with faculty of the African Studies Program (photo by Hancher)