Tag Archives: imperialism

US Gov. launches global music and peace initiative sponsored by arms manufacturers

Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, playing the guitar at the initiative launch event. Photo retrieved from US government website.

On September 27, 2023, the US government launched the Global Music Diplomacy Initiative according to a press release on the government’s website.

The article states that, since World War II, the United States has “called upon American musicians and artists to use music as a diplomatic tool to promote peace and democracy” and that music “gives voice to democratic ideals, to the powerful and the powerless, across borders and beyond barriers, and to generations of citizens – from all walks of life – worldwide.”

Being quite the troublemaker around the world as well, the United States government has been met with mixed feedback and doubts about the initiative.

Veteran US protest musician, David Rovics, predicts, sarcastically, that “people writing songs against US imperialism” will not be winning any awards on behalf of the initiative.

As Rovics furthermore points out, this music and peace initiative is, in part, sponsored by corrupt, oil spilling monsters Chevron and war tools manufacturers Boeing. One could argue, that such corporations who have been accused of being affiliated with war crimes, silencing and killing activists and polluting nature for decades should not be connected to a global initiative meant to spread art, peace and unity.

As an alternative there is always Music Action International and Freemuse, Musicians Without Borders, Playing for Change and many more.

An anti-Chevron protest song by Romanian rapper Dragonu AKA 47

A protest Music Interview: Fénix Castro from Yuca Brava (VIDEO)

In Puerto Rico people have a saying that goes something on the lines of: “Just ask, ’cause we have it.” Or so says Félix Castro, a buddy of Shouts and member of the rap-rock, protest fusion that is Yuca Brava. The saying refers in this case to the music scene in Puerto Rico which is vibrant, powerful and colorful, to say the least.

One of the first interviews I did for the Shouts project was with Félix about his political rapcore group. This was when hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico was in very recent stages. In that interview Félix voiced his concerns about the recovery and USA’s involvement. As he explains in the interview below that is still on his mind and part of his upcoming music.

The band is due to release a new EP and Félix himself is about to drop his debut solo album as well. So I rang him up and asked him how he’s been doing since our last interview and what we can expect from the two upcoming albums which are due soon.

Check out the interview below and follow Félix and Yuca Brava on BandcampSpotifyFacebook.