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Friday, February 18, 2011

Poetry of Protest - 2


Tyrants always recognize the explosive potential of literature. An apparently harmless piece of text with simple words have power to make a common people realize his/her rights and dignity. I remember this year 2010 for mine introduction to Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poems. The book Dast-e-saba (The breeze’s hand) begins with a short introduction by Faiz himself, a small polemic on the responsibility of the artist. ‘The poet’s work is not only perception and observation, but also struggle and effort,’ Faiz writes :
A full comprehension of this ocean of Life through the live and active ‘drops’ of his environment depends upon the poet’s depth of perception. To be able to show this ocean to others depends upon his control over his art; and his ability to set in motion some new currents in the ocean depends upon the fire in his blood and the zeal of his passion. Success in all three tasks demands continuous toil and struggle.
One even as a writer also needs to give real direction to the country’s future—rather than posing neutral as a bystander. Poems and words are written to promote the values of equality, freedom of speech and human rights. Poetry is not any partisan propaganda. A person belonging to any political spectrum of nationalists, secularists, liberals, and leftists is moved by the power of poetry.

1- Resistance Songs of IPTA: A Revolutionary Legacy :- Sumangala Damodarane is collecting, archiving, reviving and documenting IPTA protest music. Members of this progressive artists association had written, composed and sung songs in many Indian languages.



2- Jugalbandi: Indian Ocean’s common minimum programme :- Indian Ocean member give us insight of the act of balancing politics and music in India’s best-known progressive band.

3- Amardeep Singh who teaches post-colonial literature at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania has made notes on the role played by Arabic poetry in the uprisings.

Protest poetry and music sometimes rises to the surface during popular uprisings, crystallizing popular sentiments -- one thinks of Victor Jara in Chile, Nazim Hikmet in Turkey, Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Pakistan, or Woody Guthrie in the United States. At times like these, the right poetry and song doesn't merely describe how people are feeling; it can actually act as an intensifier that guides a protest movement, helping it spread and solidify.

4- The Poetry of Revolt : Elliott Colla ,an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University tracks about the actual poetry that has played a prominent role in the outset of the events at Egypt.

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