‘We got the power!’: the political potential of street choirs

Winter 2019
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.73.10.2019

Street choirs engage our emotions, revealing opportunities to make connections and nurture solidarities

In January 2019 drill rappers Skengdo and AM were sentenced to nine months in prison for performing their song - Attempted 1.0 - in London.1 When Extinction Rebellion launched their campaign of direct action on climate change this year, they arrived on the scene complete with their own anthem. They then shared 31st Emergency widely and formed a choir to perform it at demonstrations.2 These two very recent examples are an affirmation of the ‘power of song’ to express a social truth. In the UK, at least, everybody from the Metropolitan Police and the judiciary to the latest insurrectionary movement is taking singing very seriously.

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