Wednesday April 23, 2014
Palestine and South Africa: an Anti-Apartheid Musical CollaborationBonnie King Salem-News.com
The Mavrix, a South African band, and Palestinian Oud player, Mohammed Omar, have released "The New Black" music video.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The correlation of the now defunct apartheid state in South Africa to the current occupation and apartheid policies levied on Palestine is undeniable, and very well expressed through the song "The New Black".
It is the first ever musical collaboration between South Africa and Palestine.
The song was a musical reaction to the horror of the Gaza Massacre of 2008/2009, also known as "Cast Lead". Written and composed by Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, the first lyrics were penned in 2009 after the Massacre and the song went into musical hibernation, temporarily.
Then, inspiration came from the book "Mornings in Jenin", authored by Susan Abulhawa. Mayet read the novel, and then re-wrote the lyrics and the song evolved into what will surely be a statement for the ages.
The song represents a message of support from South Africans, who having transgressed and crossed over their own oppression under apartheid, stand in solidarity with Palestinians who are currently experiencing their own oppression under Israeli apartheid.
Haidar Eid, a Gaza based BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanction) activist and friend of the band, heard the song in 2011 and urged them to do a collaboration with Palestinian Oud player, Mohamed Omar. He also suggested that they produce a video highlighting the collaboration between South African and Palestinian musicians and also the similarities in the two struggles. It is to our benefit that these suggestions were acted upon.
A long-distance project, "The New Black" was recorded by The Mavrix in South Africa whilst Mohamed recorded the Oud in Gaza. Although never having had the opportunity to meet, the musical interplay between the musicians so far apart illustrates the empathy the musicians feel in solidarity with each other.
The song is from The Mavrix' upcoming album, "Pura Vida", due for release in June 2012. It was produced by The Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (South Africa) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).
Strong empowered for the album is given by the written endorsements of Haidar Eid of PACBI, Omar Barghouti of the BDS Movement, Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada, and Susan Abulhawa, author of "Mornings in Jenin".
More people around the world hear the message to end the siege of Gaza every day. More learn about the unlawful blockade. More are abhorred by an apartheid system in today's world. Today's civilized world. More are joining the fight against occupation and hate every day. That's what a conscience does for one's soul, it sets things straight, and it allows one to sleep through the night. Or, in some cases, does not.
This song, "The New Black" speaks the truth. And, I believe, it comes at the right time. Only through truth can justice be sought, and through justice being done, can peace be found. As Ken O'Keefe says, "Where Palestine is, the world is. If there is peace in Palestine, there is hope for the world."
Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers.
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