Movement Music Radio

by Olubusola M. Ajayi

What moves us to action? Through this sound scape project we will explore music’s influence on social movements/events in the U.S. and abroad during times of war and peace (ie. The Civil Rights Movement, Apartheid, Occupy Wall Street and Nigeria, The L.A. Riots, Arab Spring, and anti-war movement of the Vietnam War).

Think about what movements in history have caused/pushed all people to act no matter their race, religion, age, and/or class? What did music do for these movements and for the people that sacrificed their lives for change?

This is an exploration of music’s role in driving social movements.

With Occupy Wall Street right next door to the students at The New School I wanted to understand why more people and myself in general had not gotten involved in OWS.

I know that we are individuals who are passionate, who are fed up and who want to see some kind of real changes in the world. But at the same time there is this overwhelming sense powerlessness.

OWS is supposed to be a movement where ALL people take to the streets, right? Because of the lack of affordable health care, student loan debt, unemployment, injustice, inequality, etc. Are we not affected by it all? Or is it a lack of inspiration?

The project: Interview “representatives” of these movements to discuss the power of music in social movements. A diverse mix of professors, SNCC members, students, sympathizers, protesters, etc. from all walks of life sharing their experiences during particular social movements.

Participants: Judy Richardson: Producer and Professor Carol Wilder: Professor Solomon Varadas: Entrepreneur Kristin Schrall: Teacher Yasmen Shalaby : Grad Student and teacher Seun Fakuade: Entrepreneur Lebo Mateane: Grad Student

The participants were asked the same set of 5 questions and asked to share some songs that was most reminiscent to them during the movement they were involved in.

When listening to the soundtrack the listener will be put in the “world/time” of these events experiencing first hand the stories of how music inspired and brought comfort to the individuals involved in certain movements.

Things to think about as the song(s) play during this sound scape: How do you think the songs resonated with the people of that time period? What issues, if any, are brought up in the song? How effective is the song as a social protest? How does the song make you feel?

Think about how music has played a key role in the movements shared in this sound scape project and the state of main stream music today.