Here are a few of the featured artists from the film, including links to their websites and myspace pages. Click here or scroll down to find a complete list of the artists that either appear in the film, are included on the soundtrack, or where encountered somewhere along the way in the making of the film.
- Emmanuel Jal
In the mid-1980s, when Jal was around seven years old, members of Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) coerced him into joining their ranks. However, after being brutally beaten and imprisoned as punishment for a minor offense, the 10-year-old Jal befriended a fellow prisoner who, in his words, taught him that "music puts courage into the hearts and soothes them when they are defeated." Shortly thereafter Jal escaped the war in Sudan, returned to school with the help of British aid worker Emma McCune, and cultivated his abilities as a rapper. He is now one of Africa's top hip-hop artists, a widely read author, and a devoted humanitarian activist. Through music, Jal has made peace with the tormenting memories of his past and, like other artists in the Cultures of Resistance feature film, uses his craft to fight for peace, equality, and justice. Visit his official site or his myspace page to listen to some of his hit tracks.
- Hich Kas
Hich Kas, sometimes referred to as the "President of Iranian hiphop," dominates the scene not only as the pioneer of the latest generation of rap artists, but also as a singular voice speaking out about contemporary social issues facing youth in Tehran. Cultures of Resistance teamed up with Hich Kas to produce a track and video to expose some of the diversity of Iranian culture not shown in western media, and to invite people to take another look at Iran and its people. Check out his Facebook page or click here to watch our music video collaboration.
- Kayhan Kalhor
Kayhan Kalhor is a virtuosic performer who favors the Persian violin among the many other instruments he plays. He collaborated on the soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola’s film Youth Without Youth and has twice been nominated for Grammy awards. He has also lent his music to the memory of those who were murdered during the horrific massacre in Halabja, in which over 3,000 people died from a chemical weapons attack in the Kurdish town, ordered by Saddam Hussein. Kalhor produced the piece Silent City as a memorial for all those who died unjustly. He says, “Of course there is nothing we can do about it, but remembering Halabja can make you think how to prevent that. What can you do to stop making it happen again, as humans, not as Kurds, not as Iranians, not as Iraqis, not as citizens of any country, but as humans.” Click here to visit his official website.
- Katibe 5
Palestinian hip-hop group Katibe 5 carries on a tradition of socially conscious rap, even as the genre becomes increasingly commercialized in the U.S. The group is made up of five members who came of age together inside the walls of a refugee camp in Beirut where over 16,000 people reside in less than a square mile. While the plight of the Palestinian people is a central focus of their work, they rap in solidarity with other struggles around the world. As one member put it, “We're not just Palestinian refugees speaking about our problems, or our lives in the camps, because the problems we face are not only a Palestinian problem. All over the world there are people who are oppressed, people who are incarcerated, people who are suffering." Check out their myspace page or click here to watch a short film adaptation of their segment in the feature.
- MV Bill
MV Bill, a hip hop artist from Brazil’s notorious favela City of God, has been combating drug violence in urban slums for years. Since hid debut in 1993 he founded the Popular Party Power to the Majority, which represents Afro-Brazilians who have long been the victims of racism in his country. In 2000 he toured many of Brazil’s shantytowns, talking to teenagers about their frustrations of living in the slums and the value of getting an education. Later, along with female rapper Nega Gizza, he founded the Central Unica das Favelas (CUFA), a network of community organizations in shantytowns across all 26 Brazilian states that promotes education and the arts in the effort to minimize urban violence. Check out his official website or his myspace page to listen to some of his hard-hitting tracks.
- César López
César López, a Colombian musician, artist, and peace activist, is the maker of the escopetarra, or "gun-guitar.” These creations are rifles that have been converted into instruments, a symbol of Lopez’s musical mission. Some of the international recording artists that have used the escopetarra include Colombian guitarist Juanes, Argentine musician Fito Páez, and Kenyan singer Eric Wainaina—all of whom serve as UN Messengers of Nonviolence. López is also active with the Battalion of Immediate Artistic Action, an activist group that provides aid to victims of political violence. Click here to visit his myspace page.
Here is a list of all the musicians not named above who are either in the film, on the soundtrack, or who we encountered somewhere along the way.
Afrogueto (Brazil) - Hip Hop - Official MySpace Page
Amazon Ensemble (Norway) - Indigenous Brazilian Instrumental - Official Website
Amplifier Machine (Australia) - Ambient - Official MySpace Page
Ansumana Bangura (Sierra Leon) - AfroBeat
Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew (United States) - Hip Hop - Official MySpace Page
Bassekou Kouyate (Mali) - AfroBeat - Official MySpace Page
Biosphere (Norway) - Electronic - Official Website
Brahim Fribgane (Morocco) - Arabic Classical Instrumental - Official Website
Brian McKenna (United States) - Acoustic - Official MySpace Page
Checkpoint 303 (Palestine) - Trip Hop - Official Website
Choc Quib Town (Colombia) - Hip Hop - Official Website
Christian Fennesz (United States) - Acoustic - Official Website
Christopher Willits (United States) - Electronic - Official Website
Debashish Bhattacharya (India) - Indo-Acoustic - Official Website
Dendê Macedo (Brazil) - Afro-Brazilian - Official Facebook Page
DJ Lethal Skillz (Lebanon) - Turntablizm - Official MySpace Page
Dunia Massoud (Egypt) - Arabic Folk
Eli Efi (Brazil) - Hip Hop - Official Website
Essam Rafea (Kuwait) - Arabic Classical Instrumental - Official Website
Federico Aubele (Argentina) - Latin/Electronic - Official Website
Femi Kuti (Nigeria) - AfroBeat - Official MySpace Page
Fourcolor (Japan) - Electronic - Official MySpace Page
Grupo Cultural AfroReggae (Brazil) - Soul/Reggea/Hip Hop - Official Website
Hossein Alizadeh (Iran) - Persian Classical Instrumental - Official Website
Irewolede Denge (Nigeria) - AfroBeat
James Devane (United States) - Ambient - Official Website
Mahdyar Aghajani (Iran) - Persian Fusion - Official Website
Malikah (Lebanon) - Hip Hop - Official MySpace Page
Marwan Abado (Palestine) - Arabic Classical Instrumental - Official Website
Miatta Fahnbulleh (Liberia) - AfroBeat
Miss Julie (Sierra Leone) - AfroBeat
Molly Berg (United States) - Instrumental - Official MySpace Page
Nega Gizza (Brazil) - Hip Hop - Official Website
Omékongo Dibinga (United States) - Hip Hop/Spoken Word - Official Website
Paul Nabor (Belize) - Folk/Soul
Pillowdiver (Germany) - New Wave - Official MySpace Page
Pjusk (Norway) - Electronic - Official Website
Ramallah Underground (Palestine) - Hip Hop - Official Website
Rebel Diaz (United States) - Latin/Hip Hop - Official My Space Page
R.G.B. (Lebanon) - Hip Hop - Official My Space Page
Richard Jackson (Canada) - Jazz
Rick Heizman (United States) - Acoustic
Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan) - Instrumental - Official Website
Sawako (Japan) - Experimental Instrumental - Official Website
Solo Andata (Australia) - Ambient - Official MySpace Page
Taylor Deupree (United States) - Ambient - Official MySpace Page
Ten and Tracer (United States) - Experimental Psychedelic - Official MySpace Page
The Nkengas (Nigeria) - AfroBeat
Tomasz Bednarczyk (Poland) - Acoustic - Official MySpace Page
Velha Guarda da Mangueira (Brazil) - Traditional Samba