The Role of Art in Defying Social Norms.
“ Yours are Values, Ours is Love
Yours are customs, ours is Music
Yours are traditions, Ours is the Future”
– Hamed Sinno (Lead Vocalist- Mashrou’ Leila)
Society can be demeaning to some of its members, those who might be called social outcasts. Whether they have been judged for their peculiar choice of wardrobe, distinct frame of mind, or perhaps their behaviours that are labelled to be controversial. By choosing art to be the voice of their rebellion against social norms, they have managed to uplift their status in society by marking their place in its history.
A couple found their feet in music, others chose to revolt using art, while some swayed to the rhythm of their thoughts. Since then, the world has been blessed with a spectacular collection of artistries that changed the lives of many individuals, and united them across the world.
The MENA region households many cases of uncompromising artistries. In terms of music, I can’t help but mention the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila (One Night’s Project). Hamed Sinno, the band’s lead vocalist/ lyricist, exceeded expectations by writing a vast amount of controversial songs tackling many delicate topics. Covering political issues, materialism, religion and many other troublesome subjects. Definitely earning them immense adoration across the region.
Another music-related representative worth mentioning, is none other than the Jordanian Aziz Maraqa. He revolutionised the music scene in the region, by creating a music style called “RAZZ” (an Arabic Rock-Jazz fusion) which gained him, and his band, massive popularity within the area. Another example of his success, the launch of the annual festival BAB (Bands Across Boarders). Started back in 2011 and still runs ‘till this day, featuring a broad amount of talents including stand-up comedians, performing bands, solo artists and many others. It is by far the most anticipated festival every summer.
Earlier this millennium, the music scene had witnessed an immense downgrade that lead people to lean towards western music. But it didn’t last for long; because a few years later a shocking wave of music flooded the industry, gaining massive popularity overnight. Arabic Alternative Music made an everlasting imprint in the music scene across the world by which defied the social norms of typical Arabic music.
Mutual interest in this type of art had connected so many people together, and omitted the boundaries that limit the communication between social classes. Therefore, making a huge impact in the way people see each other, and downgrading the levels of unreasonable hate spread amongst members of society based on differences. When we acknowledge those differences and embrace them, only then we as a society, flourish.