Rebel Music: The artists that became activists
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Music is one of the greatest weapons of expression we have - for feelings, emotions and, of course, demands. Music has been woven into our social fabric since it was created, as a reflection of the times and also as action against, a vehicle for non-violent change. New MTV show Rebel Music shows the power of music, in protests and social transformation, in our modern world. While music is an escape in much of the West for artists in Iran, Turkey or Afghanistan it is so much more, as a tool for their activism and connecting their messages of revolution with a wider audience. According to Masters of Persia, an Iranian heavy metal band forced to flee their homeland because of their music, "Metal lets you express the anger that is a part of society". It is this ‘expression’ of anger that leads to political elites suppressing the music we take for granted here. Iran is definitely one of the most dangerous countries to be a metal artist since it is forbidden by the regime. MerajMOP, the lead singer of Masters of Persia, was flogged 130 times after being arrested while recording as he was accused of being a satanic worshipper. They finally decided to leave the country and continue spreading their peaceful message from exile, hoping to go back any time soon and be free to express their thoughts through their music. It is not much easier for Soosan Fairoz, as the first and only female rapper in Afghanistan. There is no doubt she is one of the bravest women in the country. She discovered rap music at the age of nine when she was told that people in the USA achieved freedom through it. She never stopped rapping for the freedom of women regardless of death threats the constant threat of reprisals. In Afghanistan not only is music (not just rap) considered satanic and anti-religious it is considered by many people (including the Taliban regime) immoral for women to make music at all. Soosan Fairoz is a vocal feminist voice in a nation where simply being female is a often a threat to your life.
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