MTV World announced today that it will premiere “Rebel Music,” a new documentary series about musicians and artists in areas of conflict, on MTVU at 9 PM EST, Monday, November 18th. The 30-minute, six-episode run will examine groups of young people who use art as a tool to spark change in countries around the globe.
The series was created and executive produced by Nusrat Durrani, Senior Vice President/General Manager of MTV World, and executive produced by acclaimed artist and activist Shepard Fairey, who also created the visual identity for “Rebel Music.” “‘Rebel Music’ mirrors the approach and philosophy I’ve embraced throughout my entire career — art as a catalyst for social change. MTV World has the ability to reach and give voices to young people around the world on a scale unlike a lot of other platforms, and it’s something to applaud,” said Fairey.
Academy Award winner Ross Kauffman, co-director of “Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids,” served a consulting producer for the series, in addition to photographing the India and Mali segments. Information on each of the six episodes can be found below the trailer.
“Egypt” (premieres November 18, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT): On the first anniversary of the new Egyptian president Morsi’s election, 33 million people took to the streets in the largest protest in history. “Rebel Music Egypt” introduces audiences to the brave civilians using protest songs and social media to revolutionize the mindsets that tainted their nation’s past.
“Afghanistan” (premieres November 18, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT): “Rebel Music Afghanistan” sheds light on the young students and artists who are risking their lives by engaging in small acts of defiance – which include a young woman documenting her experience as she fights for her right to ride a bicycle, the first female rapper in Afghanistan who continues to sing despite death threats to her family, and a group of heavy metal rockers who refuse to stop playing their music. Going beyond the war-torn media headlines, these brave young optimists give audiences a glimpse into a rich culture evolving under intense pressure.
“Mali” (premieres November 25, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT): Mali, once the bustling center of West African music, sits on the brink of civil war. As radical Islamist groups clash with the government and the country reels from France’s withdrawal of fiscal and military support, its citizens are under siege. “Rebel Music Mali” examines a defiant generation of musicians in Bamako who are rising up and rallying their countrymen for a return to democracy and freedom.
“India” (premieres December 2, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT): As shocking reports of rape in India continue to make international news, “Rebel Music India” focuses on the youth movement rising up against sexual violence. From working to change the media representations of women to ensuring their safety on the streets, artists, activists, rape survivors and civilians are fighting to end the systemic oppression of Indian women today.
“Israel/Palestine” (premieres December 9, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT): “Rebel Music Israel/Palestine” goes beyond newspaper headlines to tell the stories of musicians on both sides of the struggle who aim to build bridges of peace through their troubled, yet inspiring land. They embody the spirit of music as a unifying force strong enough to withstand violence and enmity.
“Mexico” (premieres December 16, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT): Tijuana, a town once known for its vibrant nightlife, has become a war zone plagued by drug-related violence after the 9/11 terrorist attacks shook up the global economy. Working to reclaim their city, local artists use their creativity to confront the issues and bring back a sense of cultural pride.