As Arcade Fire dances with mariachi bands and Lady Gaga continues to position herself as an artist and icon, it’s often easy to forget that in many parts of the world, the mere act of playing music can be a form of rebellion, a true act of defiance that can put lives in danger. But one upcoming series will explore the power of music in places where war wages and oppressive regimes attempt to keep the voices of artists suppressed.
The six-episode “Rebel Music” will deliver 30-minute episodes that will shine a spotlight on a different area grappling with elements of social injustice, from the revolution in Egypt, to sexual oppression in India, and to a Mexican drug harbor struggling to reinvent itself as a cultural haven. And in this exclusive clip, we see how a metal band in Afghanistan drew inspiration for their name from Neill Blomkamp‘s “District 9,” and share the very real threats they have received for playing music that has been declared “anti-Islamic.” Powerful stuff.
“Rebel Music” kicks off on mtvU on November 18th and episodes will also be available at RebelMusic. Check out the clip below, followed by a trailer and a poster designed by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey.