You Say You Want A Revolution
(Songs of civil unrest and political upheaval)





Sending good wishes and lucky charms to my brother and his wife, who moved to Turkey a year ago in pursuit of the artist’s life after a long stint in Frankfurt, and haven’t really been back to the States in years. They assure us their Istanbul neighborhood is “in a very different part of town from the main center of the protests,” but watching what little news I’ve been able to track down, it’s hard not to be worried.

And yet even as I hope for more reassurance, there is also awe and wonder at the myriad ways in which the universe is interconnected. For as the school year comes to a close, my Media Literacy students and I face our final exploration – a unit on Facebook and other social media, and their potentially democratizing purpose in change agency. And on beyond my brother’s timely email, here come the tweets, and the blogs and facebook groups, to once again provide ample evidence that in the digital world, the global really is the local; that even our agency is globalized, if we know how to use it.

Two years ago this weekend, our tiny rural town was decimated by a tornado, and the way in which the community came together was a case study too immediate to ignore. The year before, it was Haiti, and the ways in which social media had shown and lent us avenues of support for the destruction. Now, since we already studied Sandy’s stormy rise and aftermath in our unit on mass media, it may well be the Turkish revolution – and the Wall Street Occupation, of course – which make the grade, allowing any news from my brother from behind what many suggest is a media bottleneck to be classroom fodder, giving me a welcome avenue to work through my worry, that I may focus on sending love and support.

When the tornado came, we rebuilt; even now, with the deserted, dangerously unsafe town hall only half demolished, hope rises anew. But as song and protest go hand in hand, so does their successor, revolution – a dangerous and often deadly precursor to the kinds of reconstructive efforts that change the world forever. And so I worry – about my brother, and his wife; about my children, whose world seems so volatile, so fragile abroad even as it feels robust and Springlike here at home. And so the digital revolution holds us close to the now and the real, and a day without news seems like a lifetime. And so our mix turns to revolution itself, and the world spins madly on.



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Category: Mixtapes 2 comments »

2 Responses to “You Say You Want A Revolution
(Songs of civil unrest and political upheaval)

  1. hemisphire

    Looks like the Damien Rice recording is from 2003: http://www.rtl2.fr/video/5928486186/talkin-bout-a-revolution-tracy-chapman

  2. Birgit

    Let’s hope the situation in Turkey takes a peaceful turn to the better. Thanks for words and music!


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