Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Singing politics

The Mail and Guardian reported on the ANC Youth League's comments on Mosiuoa Lekota's suggestion that the singing of struggle songs outside parliment and court is a bad idea. While I have a huge problem with the vindictive and immature way that the ANCYL comments were made, I must admit to agreeing with their stance. People have a right to be heard, and singing is a wonderful way of getting a message out, as I keep telling my students. There is something very visceral and positive about expressing political will through singing. I may disagree fundamentally with the message of the song in question "uMshini Wami", and with the cause that it is in support of, but sensorship is not an option in a democracy, and especially not in South Africa, where singing has played such a critical role in our long-term social and political engagement. Singing politics is what South Africa is known for!

2 comments:

TSR said...

As I read, “people have a right to be heard, and singing is a wonderful way of getting a message out, as I keep telling my students,” I thought you should take a look at this trailer for this documentary (http://singingrevolution.com). It’s about Estonia’s Singing Revolution; thousands of people came together and sang in protest of Russia’s occupation.

choirgirl said...

Wow, TSR, that looks amazing. Thank you. I'll have to see whether I can get that screened for my students.