Children of music
November 22, 2022

Essay: The revolutionary power (and the limits) of music in the Muslim world

Ramy Essam, Egyptian musician and revolutionary

Mark Levine, author of 'We’ll Play Till We Die' and 'Heavy Metal Islam' looks into the power of music in Muslim countries. "The training and skills necessary to create a DIY music scene in a culturally and politically hostile culture overlapped significantly with the skills needed to create independent political subcultures capable of challenging and transforming patriarchal and authoritarian systems"- Levine writes. However, "looking back on the last two decades, it was clear that while music and art can help make revolution irresistible to large numbers of people, they don’t make its success inevitable or even likely. States often ramp up violent repression and deploy equally powerful aesthetic and affective tropes, imagery, narratives and identities to counteract the power of art".