How Metal and Hip Hop Are Fighting in Syria

With all the horror stories coming out of the Syrian civil war, who would have time to make music? Well, surprise. Music can thrive under the worst of circumstances. From the Guardian.

In the first heady weeks of the Arab spring, commentators made much of the role played by social media, but far more significant was the carnivalesque explosion of popular culture in revolutionary public spaces. Protests in Syriaagainst Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship were far from grim affairs. Despite the ever-present risk of bullets, Syrians expressed their hopes for dignity and rights through slogans, graffiti, cartoons, dances and songs.

To start with, protesters tried to reach central squares, hoping to emulate the Egyptians who occupied Tahrir Square. Week after week, residents of Damascus’s eastern suburbs tried to reach the capital’s Abbasiyeen Square, and were shot down in their dozens. Tens of thousands did manage to occupy the Clock Square in Homs, where they sang and prayed, but in a matter of hours security washed them out with blood.

This April 2011 massacre tolled an early funeral bell for peaceful protest as a realistic strategy. In response to the unbearable repression, the revolution gradually militarised. By the summer of 2012, the war was spinning in a downward spiral: the regime added sectarian provocation to its scorched-earth tactics of bombardment and siege; foreign states and transnational jihadists piled in; those refugees who could, got out.

Keep reading.

Meanwhile, here’s a new video from M.I.A. that reference the migrant crisis. (Via Mashable)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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