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Author Archives: Szczelkun

artist, author, parent, blogger, allotmenteer.

RIP

“I did not know how to write lyrics and melodies until I was put behind bars. It is there that I learned,” he said in 2017.

Update: Haacaaluu Hundeessa: The protest singer who became an Oromo icon
https://aje.io/kxdpm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53233531

He released his first album Sanyii Mootii (Race of the King) in 2009, a year after walking free, and it turned him into a music star, and a political symbol of the Oromo people’s aspirations.

After a long appeal process the twelve members of  La Insurgencia Spanish rap group have been give 6 months prison!

The Supreme Court has ratified the sentence of 6 months and one day in prison for the 12 members of the rap group La Insurgencia for a crime of exalting terrorism for praising GRAPO and its members in their songs on the Internet.Initially, the National Court imposed a sentence of 2 years and 1 day in prison, but by appealing to its Appeals Chamber, it reduced the sentence to 6 months and 1 day because the terrorist organization they praised, the GRAPO, is already inactive, a doctrine that has been applied on several occasions in cases of exaltation of ETA.”

 

“The death of George Floyd has prompted one of the biggest movements against racism since the civil rights era.”

BBC announces ‘The new wave of protest songs’

Mark Savage goes on “As the Black Lives Matter movement continues, the record industry has been paused to examine its own history of racial exclusion, and the inequity between black artists and the mainly white executives who profit from their work.”

As a follow up to my previous post here is the BBC celebrating the new wave of protest songs!  Any successful uprising will see the progressive, hip establishment move to get in with it and take leadership.  Please say if you think i’m being too cynical!

The article is short and worth a read.

 

13 Best [US] Protest Songs Of All Time

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/best-protest-songs?

It is interesting that when the world slips into a radical phase of revolt as with the global ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ protests that the fashion sector has to react quickly OR get labelled out of step and soon dropped. But then again some of these artists can embrace the contradiction of money and protest. Maintaining street cred when you are absolutely RICH. Forgive my cynicism – its good to see the contradictions being stretched. Its a good playlist! I learnt stuff.

The biggest affront to the establishment is to pull down statues. Be interesting to see how that pans out in Bristol UK in the coming months! Please let me know if any songs arise from that… (Soon come!  see comment below!)

Red Days

The publishers blurb…

Challenges the conventional narratives about English popular music and
the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s

“The passion, intensity and complexity of the popular music produced in
England between 1965-75 is the work of an extraordinary generation of
working class and lower middle class men and women (in alliance with a
handful of middle-class men and women) who saw in the new music the
remaking of something bigger than themselves, or more precisely,
something bigger than themselves that they could guide and shape and
call their own. In this the ?use-values? of popular music underwent an
unprecedented expansion and diversity during this period. Red Days
presents how music and action, music and discourse, experienced a
profound re-functioning as definitions of the popular unmoored
themselves from the condescending judgements of post-1950s high culture
and the sentiment of the old popular culture and the musicologically
conformist rock ?n? roll seeking to displace it. The remaking of the
popular between 1965-1975, accordingly, is more than a revision of
popular taste, it is, rather, the demolition of old cultural allegiances
and habits, as forces inside and outside of music shattered the
assumption of popular music as the home for passive adolescent
identifications.”

Bio: John Roberts is Professor of Art & Aesthetics at the University of
Wolverhampton. He is the author of a number of books, including /The
Necessity of Errors/ (2010), /Photography and Its Violations/ (2014),
/Revolutionary Time and the Avant-Garde/ (2015), /Thoughts on an Index
Not Freely Given/ (2016) and /The Reasoning of Unreason: Universalism,
Capitalism and Disenlightenment/ (2018).

PDF available freely online: http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=981

Ordering Information: Available direct from Minor Compositions now for
the special price of £ 10 + £2 P+P.

Minor Compositions is a series of interventions
& provocations drawing from autonomous politics,
avant-garde aesthetics, and the revolutions of everyday life.

http://www.minorcompositions.info

https://progressive.org/dispatches/strange-fruit-caused-the-murder-of-billie-holiday-180220/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-50672876

“After the 1994 exhibition, the Glasgow-based artist was disappointed at the war museum’s decision to select just six of the less brutal paintings for its permanent collection.”

David Bowie, however, did buy the most brutal painting of a rape.

He was unprepared for an experience of war and after his war artist experience in 1993 in Bosnia he had a lot of mental problems. PTSD, but maybe on top of earlier stuff. At the age of 6 his first painting was of the crucifixion.

https://peterhowson.co.uk/peter-howson-on-art-and-politics/

PH: “Art was always political, it’s only recently that it’s become very vapid. I always separate the art from the person. I don’t rate new Scottish art at all, a lot of it looks like advertising. Real art is Otto Dix, George Grosz, Goya, Michelangelo and Ken Currie here is the only artist doing serious stuff at the moment, and when I say serious I mean social commentary – art has got to speak to people, it’s got to communicate.”

Once we stayed in Edinburgh in a room with one of his earlier paintings on the wall – it didn’t contribute to a homely feel!

Howson in room

 

 

 

There is great local work that is done all around the country in UK and probably everywhere that needs more support to get through the local bureaucracies to get out into schools, libraries and inform cultural events. Here’s  a sample from my area led by Sean Creighton.

“Musical Heritage. The recognition of the importance of Croydon’s heritage is recognised (Plan. p.15). However, this section is flawed and superficial. I urged the Cabinet of 20 June 2016 to ensure that the report Towards a Cultural Programme for Croydonshould recognise ‘heritage as a major component of culture and as a stimulus to cultural activities and tourism’.  The Plan report is particularly weak on the history of the musical heritage. The fact that famous performers like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones performed at venues like Fairfield Halls, is important and interesting, but they were just passing through. It ignores the rich classical and folk scenes. There is no mention of the classical composers Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Hurlestone who grew up in Croydon and ran musical events involving local musical talents like the Petherick sisters. Nor does it mention other residents such as Ralph Reader (Gang Shows),  Kathy Stobbart (jazz saxophonist), and Ewan McCall and Peggy Seeger (folk singers nor the musical importance of the National College of the Blind. Nor does it mention the rich music hall history or the way in which music was central to the social and public activities of the wide range of faith, charitable, labour movement, friendly society, and faith organisations, and of campaigners such as the suffragists and suffragettes. There is no excuse for this, given that some of the detail has been written about in Croydon Citizen, given the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor year long Festival in 2012 organised by Jonathan Butcher with the help of Surrey Opera and the Borough based Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Network, and the Petherick family exhibition at the Museum.

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/history/talented-pethericks-family-album

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/rich-stories-fairfield-halls

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/samuel-coleridge-taylor-croydon-music-scene

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/discovering-selhursts-history-part-2

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/history/samuel-coleridge-taylor-remembered

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/politics-culture-remembering-paul-robeson

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/history/keep-singing-along-pete-seeger

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/history/samuel-coleridge-taylor-civil-rights-movement

Of course there is also much recent EDM  and Grime history relating to the area, especially Thornton Heath, where I live that is not yet recorded…

 

Sentenced to a year in prison for insulting the police in this video. This is the fate of the Moroccan rapper Gnawi. I’m looking for an English translation for the Lyrics.

“Young people make up a third of Morocco’s 35 million inhabitants. A quarter of those aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed and out of school, according to official figures.”

I have to admire the guts of this guy – Mr.Guti . Apparently Basra is run by gangs and it is somewhere you can be in danger if you espouse western modernist forms in public. I saw a programme on Youtube influencers in Iraq the other night. One has been killed and another, in Bagdad, was running a legal  battle against people threatening her (which she was winning!) and had to live almost in isolation with her daughter. These people are fighting for basic freedom of expression which we take for granted. This was in Baghdad which is reckoned to be generally much safer to live an and more stable than Basra.

The video above start in Arabic and then about half way there is an version in English. The lyrics area protest a bout the desperate poverty of the mass of people…

For more see:

http://www.studentnewspaper.org/iraqi-influencers-are-risking-their-lives-to-fight-for-womens-rights/