Honesty Oscars 2015: Best Activist Anthem

Honesty Oscars 2015: Best Activist Anthem

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Every day in the week leading up to the Academy Awards, February 17th to 21st, ONE and Accountability Lab will unveil a category for our Honesty Oscars 2015, 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 following the Oscars on Monday, February 23rd.

Today, we unveil the third category in ONE and Accountability Lab’s Honesty Oscars (see the first and second categories 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. Take a listen to each of the four nominees, then vote for your favorite in the form below. Voting for this category closes Monday, February 23 at 9AM EST.


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1.) “Gbagba Is Corruption” – Takun J

“Gbagba” is a word for corruption in Liberia and this song is based on a popular children’s book. Takun-J uses Hip-Co music- which blends hip-hop with Liberian English – to send messages about the struggles young people face and the changes he and others want to see in their country. Corruption is a huge challenge in Liberia, but the work of artists like Takun-J is showing that a new generation will no longer accept the status quo.

2.) “Putin will teach you how to love” – Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock group that raises its voice against political oppression and human rights violations in Russia. The lyrics of this song (in Russian) repeat “Putin will teach you how to love the motherland” and make references to the state’s violence during the Sochi Olympics, a lack of constitutional justice, the imprisonment of an environmental activist, and LGBT rights. The video shows the group’s members being brutally whipped and beaten by Russian Cossacks while performing this song in Sochi.

3.) “What Will I Remain With” – Juliani, Sarabi, H_art The Band, Teardrops, Berry and Gachago

This song, written and produced by a group of young Kenyan musicians in under 24 hours, is “dedicated to the victims of politically instigated violence.” In the midst of rising ethno-political tension in Kenya, the song raises awareness on how the current lack of accountability is affects citizens lives (“I am building the country but it is not building me…What will Kenyans be left with after our leaders have stolen every resource”).

4.) “Revolution” – Latragram

This Spanish musician calls for revolution in a blend of rap, hip-hop and funk. The lyrics seek to open people’s eyes to the need for change around the world, repeating “when there’s no justice, there’s no peace, no place to go, no chance to eat, people dying the streets, strong will beat the weak, all around the world.”

5.) “Corruption” – Radio and Weasel

Ugandan duo Radio and Weasel use this song as a national call against corruption, singing “corruption is killing this nation.” The music video illustrates real examples of corruption at all levels of society, from bribes for false HIV test results to poor government maintenance of the roads.

VOTE NOW for your favorite Best Activist Anthem nominee!

Which song should win the 2015 Honesty Oscar for ‘Best Activist Anthem’?
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