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.
Selma and İnan Altın, two members of the infamous music collective Grup Yorum, have asked for asylum in France. The group, who have released twenty albums since 1987, have long been harassed by Turkish authorities who believe the musicians to be members of terrorist groups. Currently, 11 members of the band are incarcerated in Turkish prisons.
In an interview with Euronews the band’s drummer, İnan, explained that they were seeking refuge in France because of the constant oppression they have received from the Turkish authorities; the band has experienced raids onto them, their instruments broken and they’ve not been able to give proper concerts since 2016. Furthermore they describe the current setting in Turkey to be bleak as they inform the Euronews journalist that even street musicians are getting arrested.
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