The Country Of Angola Is Rich In Activism Through Music

singers in front of microphones
Via Flickr
Adé Hennis
October 18, 2023

Angola fought for its independence from Portugal, and in November 1975, they took it. However, after the southern African country became independent, it entered a civil war. But this time a different type of freedom was at stake, and it hit all the wrong notes.

The 1960s and 1970s were known as the golden era for Angola music, yet the government attempted to put an end to it. Angola artists were killed for their empowering music. But the culture fought on.

Kizomba, which means party, was one type of music and dance that created a fun social environment away from the civil war, while also illustrating the nation’s transformation in the 1980s. Even today, corrupt forces in the nation try to silence the activism associated with Angola music, but the resistance still lives on.

“This tiny thing has become so much bigger – without us even noticing it. Art has that power, it’s not just about political ideas,” says Luaty Beirao, a Angola musician who was arrested in 2011 for his activism."

Angola’s musical activism, much like the U.S. Civil Rights era’s gospel or the Haitian Revolution’s Rara, shows that our creativity and cultural embrace has always had the power to spark a revolution.

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