Monthly Archives: February 2012

Silvio Berlusconi’s Songs of Freedom

by Davide Grosso

Italy – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi who recently resigned due to the severe economic conditions besetting his country, has launched the new anthem of his party. The song entitled “People of Freedom” is the latest addition to the specific marketing strategies that distinguishes Berlusconi’s party since many years. As usual, lyrics are based on the keyword of his party/organization: freedom.
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Putin-bashing on Youtube

by Charlie Crooijmans

On March 4 the presidential elections will be held in Russia. Current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, who was elected in 2000 and 2008, is the main candidate. Since December last year after the parliamentary elections – according to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) there was a widespread fraud in favor of the ruling party – thousands of demonstrators protested against the results of the polls and lots of them want to get rid of Putin. Putin has never experienced popular protests like these before. There seem to be no freedom of speech and opposition protesters aren’t very welcome – even if they’re 5cm high and made of plastic. This doesn’t stop people from making songs and video-clips to do some serious (and funny) Putin-bashing. Here are a few examples. Continue reading

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Three Songs from the Syrian revolution.

Abdul Basit Saroot

Abdul-Basit Saroot

by Hatim Suleiman

For a long time, the Palestinian plight and general Arab national themes dominated Syrian political singing. The regime of Al-Asad (father and son) left no space for songs critical of Syrian domestic politics. These days however singer-songwriter Samih Shuqair, the young Syrian singer Wasfi Massarani and the popular goalkeeper Abdul-Baset Saroot are criticizing the regime in their songs.
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Musical exchange with North Korea

by Charlie Crooijmans

Who has not seen the video yet of the performance of five young North Korean accordionists playing A-Ha’s Take on me on Youtube? This weekend the quintet from the Kum Song (Gold Star) Music School Ensemble played at the Barents Spektakel in Norway. It’s rare to hear or see anything from the most isolated country in the world. Even after the death of the Great Leader Kim Jong-Il and the succession by his youngest son Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains an extremely secluded communist dictatorship. What made this musical exchange possible?

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Egypt: Singing a revolution.

by Hatim Suleiman

Egypt is back in the news, like one year ago: demonstrations, millions marching and sitting in Tahrir Square, clashes with security forces in the heart of Cairo. One year after  the 25th of January “planned demonstration” that turned into a revolution getting millions out, in what came to be known as “the liberation squares” around the country. Named after the biggest: Tahrir (liberation) Square in Cairo. “Occupying” – or actually – regaining control of  their squares and streets from President Mubarak’s security forces and refusing to leave until their demands are met. Mubarak eventually stepped down the 11th of  February 2011, handing over power to the army’s military commanders known as the SCAF (Supreme Council of the Armed Forces). SCAF immediately paid homage to those killed in the revolution and vowed to carry on with its demands in a transitory period.  One year later however the revolution continues, the  slogan DOWN with SCAF rule replacing last year’s down with Mubark’s rule.

All along songs are used. There’s no way to document the songs of a revolution that simply had not ended and that continuously evolves. Loads of young musicians, amateurs and professionals took the chance to present their music directly to the street public or via social media. This is only a quick sketch of some of the musical moments of this revolution that gave it part of its soundtrack and image (due to the inseparable video clips).
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Obama can sing – and does.

by Ninja Kors

Another short clip from the presidential campaigns in the USA: current president and re-election hopeful Barack Obama has decided to show his fun and easy-going side. What better way to do that than with a little bit of music?

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