USIP and the Conflict Prevention & Resolution Forum presented an exciting new movie and corresponding panel discussion on the intersection between music and nonviolent civic action.
Across the world, nonviolent civic mobilization has become an increasingly recognized force for social, political, and economic change. A recent study found that in the last 100 years, nonviolent movements have been twice as successful as violent movements. A key part of this success is the unique ability of nonviolent civic action to mobilize large numbers of people to participate in the struggle, particularly across lines of cultural difference. Music and musicians often emerge at both the center and periphery of nonviolent movements, providing a megaphone for demands and a platform for expressing grievances and preserving or building collective identities.
This event brought together three individuals whose work meets at the nexus of music and nonviolent action: Arash Sobhani - an underground musician from Iran, Timothy O'Keefe - a music producer and co-founder of Freedom Beat Recordings, and Dr. Maria Stephan - one of the world's leading scholars on strategic nonviolent action.
Looking through a musical lens, these three leaders guided us through an exploration of nonviolent action, past and present. The event also featured a 25-minute film chronicling Arash Sobhani's 2013 journey through Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey to interview and jam with artists whose music has helped capture and fuel nonviolent movements that have emerged in those countries. Never before had such a musical exchange occurred in the Middle East.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #FreedomBeat.