In the 69 years since the Korean peninsula was divided following World War II, North Korean defectors have been a source for firsthand accounts of the Kim regime, but for an author to reach an international audience while still functioning within the DPRK system is an historic milestone. Read the full story at VICE.
For the lead single off World War Free Now, a conceptual album about a nonviolent world devoid of super powers, Narcy once again teamed up with Ridwan Adhami, the photographer behind the famed image used in Shepard Fairey’s “We The People” series, using his portraits of refugees from 19 countries. Read the full story at Billboard.
President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days has deeply complicated plans already in motion involving sectors of the U.S. music industry that work with those countries. Not only has the ban — which includes Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan — restricted the movement of those traveling into or out of the United States, but American labels and managers are scrambling to protect artists vulnerable to Trump’s policy. Read more at Billboard.
The new book, Finks, reveals how great writers such as Baldwin, Márquez, and Hemingway became soldiers in America’s cultural Cold War. Read more at VICE.
When Boubacar Traoré first achieved fame in the 1960s, it was tethered to a social responsibility. Hits like Mali Twist were immediately swept into the narrative of a joyous nation emerging from colonialism, but even the most frivolous-sounding dance beats were anchored in lyrics that called on Malians to transform their homeland. Read more at Warscapes.
Since Mashrou’ Leila formed in 2008, the band has been a lightning rod for backlash from a conservative-controlled media, but also an important voice for gender equality in the region. Read more at Brooklyn Magazine.
A conversation with Nasser Abufarha on Fair Trade and what it means for Palestinian farming. Listen to the podcast on Warscapes.
In his New York City debut, Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr talks about the clash of interests, politics, and cultural and historical moments that influenced his latest exhibit. Read the full story at Warscapes.