The Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish, once asked, “Who will write the history of the bottom?” I lack an answer to such a profound question. But I do believe music is an authentic tool to document and write the history and liberation struggle of the bottom. In this week’s Music Monday playlist, we’re sharing music that illustrates the systematic injustice Palestinians face every day.
These music videos explore themes of resistance, hope, siege, storytelling, and occupation.
Featured photo is a mashup of Palestinian solidarity protests from mondoweiss.net
“Oh Endless Night” by Rim Al-Banna – A nostalgic and haunting acapella performance.
Nasser Shamma offers a contemporary interpretation of Palestinian traditional melodies.
“Kaffya Arabiya” by Shadia Mansour and Dead Prez – These artists come together demanding justice and calling for solidarity from the “Ghetto to Gaza.”
“Born Here” by DAM in Hebrew/Arabic with English subtitles – DAM takes us to the desperation of being in the occupied territories.
“Code Rouge” featuring Amel Mathlouthi is a powerful video, released by Génération Palestine, a group of young people in Europe advocating for the rights of Palestinian people.
“Checkpoint Rock: Songs from Palestine” is a musical documentary by the Spanish director Fermin Muguruza.
This playlist wouldn’t be complete without sharing a song by Manu Chao, who was always a vehement supporter of the cause. “In Palestinia, too much hypocrisy, this world go crazy, it’s no fatality,” he sings. I couldn’t agree more.
“Somos Sur” by Ana Tijoux featuring Shadia Mansour reminds us that fighting for human rights and social justice is never dictated by where you are, or where you come from.
Finally, the last song is called “Mohamed” and is dedicated to the children of Gaza. The lyrics are based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish who I mentioned in the intro to this post. Here are some of the lyrics:
A bird terrorized
by the hell from the sky,
in his father’s arms:
Keep me from flying, father,
my wings are still
weak against the wind . . . and the light is black
would like to go home again,
without a bicycle . . .
or a new shirt.
to get back to his school bench . . .
his book of grammar and conjugations:
Take me home, father,
so I could do my homework
and live my life, bit by bit . . .
on the seaside,
under the palm trees,
nothing more, nothing.
This is the first blog post and Music Monday playlist by Sulafa Musa, WITNESS’ Program Associate – Video For Change.