Honesty Oscars 2014: Best Activist Anthem

This week before the Academy Awards, February 24 to 28, ONE and Accountability Lab will unveil a category for our Honesty Oscars 2014, an award that honors not Hollywood films, but the creative work of activists and organizations that fight global corruption. Vote for your favorites, and we’ll announce the winners on Oscar night, Sunday, March 2. 

Today, we unveil the third category in ONE and Accountability Lab’s Honesty Oscars (see the first category here, and the second one here): Best Activist Anthem. Like the Academy Awards’ “Best Original Song,” this category honors original songs that have truly inspired audiences to learn about the fight against global corruption and join the movement, too. Both ONE and Accountability Lab have recognized the power of music in protest and accountability with the agit8 and  Hip Co Festival projects, so this category is very dear to our hearts.Scroll through the five nominees, then vote for your favorite in the form below. Voting for this category closes Sunday, March 2, 6PM ET. 

Category 3: Best Original Song

1. “Down By the Riverside”

By Dr Sley and Da Green Soljas (Cameroon)

Down By The Riverside points to the involvement of all segments of society in corruption- from the police, to religious leaders, to doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, drug dealers, and tax collectors; and calls on individuals to stop their corrupt ways.

2. “El Soor” (The Wall)

By Youssra El Hawary (Egypt)

El Soor is a song and a story, whose star is the graffiti-covered wall erected to block access to Tahrir Square and downtown Cairo. Its uplifting style echoes the strength the young revolutionaries in Egypt and around the world, who refuse to be intimidated by the obstacles placed in their paths.

3. “Mujhse Hogi Shurvaat”

By I Paid a Bribe and the Shankar Mahadevan Academy (India)

We dig the visuals – and just the right amount of Auto-Tune – used in this very well produced music video by I Paid A Bribe and the Shankar Mahadevan Academy.

4. “Sheria”

By Sarabi Band featuring Juliani (Kenya)

“Fuata Sheria is about the state of Kenya’s politics and of the failure of Kenya’s citizens to take responsibility for their contribution to the corrupt status quo. The song is a call on Kenyans to retrospect and judge, not just the political leaders, but to judge themselves as well, and to ‘fuata sheria’, to respect the rule of law.”

5. “Pot Boiling Remix”

By Xpolay ft. Romeo Lee, JD Donzo, Luckay Buckay, Takun J, and Bentman tha Don.

This song by Liberia’s most prominent “Hip Co” street rap musicians will capture your attention. They combine skill with candid messages about the problems that affect Liberian society, including lack of development, absence of leadership and rampant corruption. For many Liberians their pots are literally not boiling; they do not have enough food to eat.

Voting for this category is now closed.

Did we forget your favorite? Add it in the comments below! Come back tomorrow to check out the next set of nominees for “Best Director.” 

About the Accountability Lab: We are an independent, project-driven “for purpose” organization that engages civil society to develop unique innovations that help hold governments accountable. The Lab currently works with citizens in Liberia and Nepal, but is inspired by the creative efforts of people and organizations around the world in the quest to share information that helps create more accountable societies.