Nassima and Azamat received a scholarship for a residency at the Atelier des Artistes en Exil.

What is your artistic background ? 
We started very early with our parents, who all had an artistic background. They were respectively a singer and a musician, as far as Nassima is concerned, and a choirmaster and sound engineer as far as Azamat is concerned. They are the ones who passed on to us the traditions of Uigurian culture. Our whole life has been crossed and bathed in music. 

How do you see your profession today ? 
We must perpetuate our folklore and traditions, working from our origins. We have come to realise that pop music is ephemeral, we want to try our hand at experimentation, but we must not forget our culture. The Uigur culture must persist through its music, so that the world knows where these people come from, who they are, what they have endured and what their history is.

How do you see yourself in 5 years ? In 10 years ?
In 10 years’ time, we would like to regain the confidence and fame we had before our exile, to reconstitute our repertoire, to develop our activity, to have a musical ensemble accompanying us, to give concerts and to spread our culture. It took us 10 years to become what we are. We are giving ourselves another 10 years to rebuild ourselves.


This interview was conducted in 2017
Photo credit: Antonin Amy-Menichetti