i’m reading about some interesting aspects of music and politics lately – namely music and torture.
thanks to a link from the urban adverturer in rotterdam , i found out about about a great project investigating enforced listening – specifically the music of torture and resistance in auschwitz, i’ve also been checking out songs from sesame street used at guantanamo bay and abu graib, trying to find out if headphones are permissable in prisons and thinking about the music of resistance.
defiance through song is not new – the whole of modern pop music is basically a descendant from songs sung by slave chain gangs in america. and i suspect that it’s true power comes through its collective and unifying effects, as much as the musicality and aesthetics.
but can music defy torture, or give a resounding sense of freedom, on ones own? if i was forced to sit in solitary confinement, or was being arrested, or tortured for my political beliefs, what song would i sing to raise my spirits and/or to show that i could not be beaten? would that even work?
can sound-based resistance be such a lonely, singular experience?
and what would your song of resistance be?