Al Jazeera documentary celebrates Libya’s defiant music scene

unnamedFor 42 years, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya with an iron fist. Those were the years the music died; all non-Arabic music was banned, under threat of imprisonment, with western instruments burned in public squares across Libya.

Stronger Than Bullets, an upcoming Al Jazeera documentary, explores the defiant music scene that emerged during the 2011 Libyan revolution, where guitars and guns fought side by side.

Hip-hop, metal, rock, blues and even country music were suddenly echoing around Benghazi, as the city’s population found their voices for the first time in generations.

But after the revolution was won, a new threat emerged, and the musicians were again forced to scatter. Will the music scene thrive once more or will it remain mired in post-revolutionary blues?

“Stronger Than Bullets is not just a study of a dazzling music bloom in the midst of a bloody revolution,” says director Matthew Millan. “It’s a rousing tale about a group of determined musicians who continued to play, armed with the unbridled joy of a liberated people, even in the direst of conditions.”

Stronger Than Bullets premieres on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 2000 GMT / 2200 SAST on Witness, Al Jazeera English’s inspiring documentary series that brings world issues into focus through compelling human stories.

Watch the trailer:

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About Cholo Brooks 15844 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.