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Rachid Taha - The Definitive Collection | 19 Princelet Street Refugee Week exhibition

Issue No. 2053

The Definitive Collection cover

The Definitive Collection cover

The Definitive Collection
Rachid Taha
CD out now

This new retrospective album shows the range of the Algerian-born and French-based singer Rachid Taha, who mixes rock, rai and breakbeats.

His best known track, a joyous North African reworking of The Clash’s Rock The Casbah, is here along with 14 other tracks that cover exile and hopes for peace and change.

Also included is a 1980s cover of the patriotic song Sweet France which was banned on French radio for its punky venom.

This is a good stepping off point for Rachid Taha and his music, sung in his distinctive throaty howl in Arabic, French and occasionally English.

Ken Olende

19 Princelet Street
Refugee Week exhibition
17–24 June

19 Princelet Street is a little known gem of a museum in London’s Spitalfields area.

Founded by refugees, it provides a history over hundreds of years of the successive groups of immigrants who came to live and work in London.

The museum is rarely open due to lack of funds and a poor state of repair. But Refugee Week provides a great chance to see one of London’s unsung attractions for free – it will be open from 17 to 24 June between 12 noon and 5pm.

The museum, in the form of a ramshackle old house just off Brick Lane, explores issues of immigration, racism and identity. From the French Huguenots to the Irish, Jews, Somalis and others, the displays emphasise how their contributions continue to enrich one of the world’s most multicultural and integrated cities.

Princelet Street is a charity run by volunteers. It is part of our heritage, and we should defend it. The house needs £3 million to keep it open to everyone on a regular basis in future. Maybe your trade union could make a donation?

Roddy Slorach


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Article information

Tue 29 May 2007, 18:53 BST
Issue No. 2053
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