When art and music change the world: new MTV World series ‘Rebel Music’ follows young people in 6 countries

By Natan Edelsburg 

safe_imageLast Monday, MTV World debuted ‘Rebel Music,’ a new documentary series about musicians and artists in areas of conflict. ‘Rebel Music’ will feature six episodes examining the lives of young people using art and music to create change around the world. The first two episodes premiered last week, and the remaining four episodes will debut weekly on mtvU and RebelMusic.com. Artist and activist Shepard Fairey, who also created the visual identity for ‘Rebel Music,’ is an executive producer.



“Rebel Music gives audiences a unique ‘on the ground’ perspective of how young people around the world are fighting for peace and change in some of the world’s most dangerous regions,” said Nusrat Durrani, Senior Vice President and General Manager of MTV World.  “These inspiring stories will resonate with American audiences and help them see these countries in a new light, hopefully with more empathy and optimism.”

Durrani also explained the importance of social media in this project and the inspirations for this project.

“Social media has played a large role in all of these countries… I don’t think Arab Spring would have erupted [without social media]. More specifically to a lot of the characters that we followed and track, they are on a daily basis using social media. We saw that in Egypt, tracking a rapper…while we interviewing him uploading a song… he was reporting to us in real time how many views he was getting and how he was tweeting and Facebooking and asking people to join him in Tahrir Square.”

The six episodes of ‘Rebel Music’ – in order – will center on: Egypt, Afghanistan, Mali, India, Israel/Palestine, and Mexico.

According to the release, in addition to Durrani (who is also an executive producer) and Fairey, other filmmakers related to the episodes include:

Academy Award winner Ross Kauffman as Consulting Producer for the series and Cinematographer for the India and Mali episodes, Raeshem Nijhon as Series Producer and Co-Director for the India, Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine episodes, Maria Cataldo as Post Producer and Supervising Series Editor, and Mikhail Galustov as Cinematographer for the Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine and Egypt episodes. Nusrat Durrani also acted as a Co-Director for the India, Egypt, Afghanistan and Mexico episodes. Simon Ostrovsky Co-Directed the Israel/Palestine and Egypt episodes. Roye Segal is a Co-Director for the Mexico episode, and Ben Herson acted as Director for the Mali episode.