Tag Archives: oppression

Video Of The Day Resulted In Artists Being Imprisoned

When in 2018 Egyptian musician Ramy Essam published the music video to his single “Balaha”, Egyptian authorities arrested the poet behind the lyrics, the music video director and Essam’s former social media manager.

Essam is well known for his participation in the protests of 2011 after writing the song “Irhal” which became an anthem for the revolution. During the protests he was arrested and tortured by Egyptian authorities.

Currently his creative collaborators remain in prison and Essam himself in exile in Sweden. Essam launched the Balaha Case campaign in order to raise awareness and fight for the release of his friends and collaborators.

Sources:
https://www.dw.com/en/when-making-music-means-torture-and-exile/a-50469721
https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-01-10/egyptian-musicians-passport-was-revoked-his-political-songs-he-still-cant-wait-go
https://www.ramyessammusic.com/balaha

This Is Illegal Music – Let’s All Share It

Mehdi Rajabian once served two years, of a larger sentence, in prison in Tehran, Iran, for making music. The oppression the government shows artists in the country is immense but some people, like Mehdi, continue to create beauty despite the threat of incarceration.

His latest work needs to be shared by the rest of us who are not facing the same hardship. This beautiful album, which can be streamed below, features artists from 12 middle eastern countries and includes songs recorded during war and during an escape on a boat by a refugee.

Mehdi Rajabian on Facebook
Mehdi’s profile on Freemuse

Cover photo ©Mehdi Rajabian

30 Years Since The Singing Revolution

30 years ago, on the 23rd of August, 2 million people from three neighboring nations, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, locked their arms together and formed a human chain that stretched across the three countries.

The people demanded freedom from the Soviet Union and did so in a peaceful way. In Tallinn, Estonia, people gathered regularly at the a music festival ground bursting into spontaneous mass singing. From those events the term ‘Singing Revolution’ was coined.

More commonly known as ‘The Baltic Way’ this revolution saw millions of people organizing for their freedom and finding common grounds between each other through, among other things, music.

Boris Reznik composed the song below for this occasion and it is sung in the three languages, a somewhat of a mutual anthem for the three countries.