Stay-at-Home with La Guide de Voyage #3: tune up to feminist classics

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London – lockdown week 7 and we are all starting to run out of films and podcasts – so it’s good time for some new tunes!

Music holds a special place in our life. More than any other art form, it has the power to lift our mood, make us dance and smile – just what we need while we are still, mostly, stuck inside.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve all experienced a range of emotions that can be difficult to comprehend or contain – and with the world in constant flux, we face uncertainties and new realities.

Alice Walker once said: ‘Hard times require furious dancing’ and this has been my lockdown motto! From playing the 30-day music challenge with friends to digging out old favourites, I have discovered artists and musicians from many different parts of the world along the way.

Music is more than great sounds – it’s powerful lyrics and ideas, it’s travel, escapism and memories; and that’s why it brings such joy.

So, here’s a playlist for you all combining some timeless classics, old and new favourites, some headbanging, rabble-rousing and hip wiggling tunes – because we’ll all need more of these to get us through!

Happy listening, dancing and sharing …

#1

Legend Nina Simone’s soulful and timeless classic Feeling Good is like an affirmation of inner peace and power, a desire to move forward and focus on the good times ahead:
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good.

#2

Country music mega star Dolly Parton’s fast paced 9 to 5 captures the reality of the working day and conditions – especially for women who are often overworked, underpaid and disrespected. The song has become particularly relevant at a time when women are taking on even more unpaid care responsibilities.

#3

80’s rock icon, Annie Lennox, teams up with the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, for this powerful feminist anthem Sisters are doing it for themselves:
So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen
‘Cause there’s somethin’ we forgot to say to you (we say)
Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.
Standin’ on their own two feet.”

#4

Rowdy 1970’s English punk rock band X-Ray Spex bring us Oh bondage, Up yours! – an irreverent powerful rejection of social and gender norms which begins with:
Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard
And I think – oh bondage – up yours!
1234 ….

#5

Bikini Kill high energy 90’s Rebel Girl is a song about sisterhood – a refreshing battle cry for togetherness and friendship – in a world where women are often pitted against one another.

#6

I only just discovered Ana Tijoux, but love her powerful political, feminist, antifascist music and Antipatriarca ticks all the boxes.

#7

I first heard anti-apartheid activist Busi Mhlongo’s Yehlisam’umoya ma-Afrika by chance, after listening to legendary Miriam Makeba (aka Mama Afrika) and was so mesmerised I felt I had to share it far and wide.

#8

Beyonce’s rap tune ***flawless about rising in the morning looking perfect, doesn’t need much introduction – but worth mentioning the special feature – a snippet from Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk – just saying!

#9

Syrian-American rapper and activist Mona Haydar’s Hijabi is as self-explanatory as it is necessary – a powerful antidote to constructions of femininities of the Muslim ‘other’ in western culture.

#10

Lizzo’s Juice is THE feelgood song – full stop! It’s fun, it’s cheeky, it’s sassy – so get on the proverbial dancefloor – now!
If I’m gonna shine,
Everybody’s gonna shine!

#11

Closing off with a beautiful, reflective song by all round feminist super star Amanda Palmer: In my
mind.

 

Sparing a thought for survivors of violence* and women working on the frontline – for whom this has
been a particularly gruelling time.

*If you or any one you know has been or is affected you can contact:

 

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