The protest song
Nueva canción (“new song” in Spanish) is a social movement and musical genre in Iberian America and the Iberian Peninsula, characterized by folk-inspired styles and socially committed lyrics. Nueva canción surfaced almost simultaneously during the 1960s in Argentina, Chile and Spain. Nueva canción is widely recognized to have played a profound role in the social upheavals in Portugal, Spain and Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s.
Nueva canción musicians often faced censorship, exile, forceful disappearances and even torture by the wave of right-wing military dictatorships that swept across Iberian America and the Iberian Peninsula in the Cold War era.
Nueva canción is a type of music which is committed to social good. Its musical and lyrical vernacular is rooted in the popular classes and often uses a popularly understood style of satire to advocate for sociopolitical change. It characteristically talks about poverty, empowerment, democracy, human rights, religion, and the Latin American identity. Due to Nueva canción songs strongly political messages, some of them have been used in later political campaigns, the Orange Revolution, which used Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a la Vida”.
The spirit of ancient Inca Civilization, which had disappeared in the rhythms of these songs, lived in the spirit of music.
I really wish our Azerbaijani musicians and composers to create our own songs of protest.
Protest is the first condition of liberty! It is impossible to gain liberty or freedom without protesting and it is impossible to live with dignity, to live decent life without freedom!
I wrote on that in my article “The Right to Protest” a while ago. Exactly a year ago, I wrote Protest – another name for dignity. Those who protest in the country where liberty is drowned are the guardians of the people’s honor!
Now I see, there is something we miss in our protest – we cannot pass over our Word. I have never seen the Word to stand such alone and helpless in the arena!
For several days, the jailed activist Mehman Huseynov is starving. He has gone on hunger strike to protest the injustice against him in prison. He must be freed and this travesty ended. Mehman Huseynov is one of the swallows of ”the visual protests” in Azerbaijan. He should not be left alone! He should not stay alone!
This morning, I read that Tofig Yagublu has begun starving too to not let Mehman be alone in his struggle and to support him. A few years ago, I wrote about his daughter in my article “The children are outside and struggle”. Are the fathers outside now and struggle?!
A protest turns into a wave when ten people go out and stand for one and hundred people stand for ten. How many people have gone out and stood up for Mehman for these two years he has been in prison?! How many people replaced him?
… I protest too!
These protest words by me is a drop in the wave of support for Mehman, Giyas, Bayram and other young people and political prisoners who protect and keep our honor in prisons today! Let it be! Tomorrow’s wave comes from today’s drops.
Protest music has been a prominent tool in the history of protests in the world.
5 January 2019
By writer Vahid Qazi and translator and editor Saadat Karimi