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How can we write protest songs that speak to the widest audience possible? 

What are the limits of inclusivity in protest songs, in terms of sound and content?

Protests and revolutions are often fueled by social injustice, people oppressed by a specific power or system, and the need for change to a better society Current and existing protest and revolutionary songs tend to be similar and interconnected in many ways. For example, protest songs against state power or dictatorships have similar thematic and lyrical content; revolutionary songs in the Communist era with arousing characters have similar melodies, etc.

Part 1 - SOLIDARITY, aims towards greater connection and inclusivity between protest movements that might have benefitted from combining forces. Is it possible to write protest songs in a way that will speak to different communities worldwide facing similar struggles, even if the communities are not necessarily immediately connected? At the same time it aims to explore the limits of connecting movements – to what degree can the music and sound of likeminded or adjacent protests movements be connected, given their respective contexts and specificities? At what point might inclusivity become meaningless in sound and content? 

The project is therefore examining how and to what degree protest and revolutionary songs in different countries might be coherent, beginning by collecting protest and revolutionary songs originating from 1950 onwards from 20 academics, artists, and activists, etc. from various countries to create an initial database. Detailed information about each song will also be collected in order to understand their respective political contexts. The information acquired will be used to help define musical and content/thematic categories of protest songs, so as to examine possible connections and differences between different countries and eras. 

Thereafter, the database will be utilized to train an initial artificial intelligence model as a tool for producing and arranging protest and revolutionary music. An open public platform will also be created to allow for submission of further protest songs and information, eventually expanding the database and refining the AI model, and to allow people to create their own ‘universal’ protest songs through AI tools.



ON 2025