World musicians celebrate UDHR’s 60th anniversary

Stephen Marley, Angelique Kidjo and Hugh Masekela are just a few of the renowned musicians from around the world to take part in a musical project, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The song and video, The Price of Silence, also features the talents of Belgian singer Natacha Atlas (best known for her work with Transglobal Underground), American singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant (formerly of 10,000 Maniacs),  Chali 2na from hip-hop outfit Jurassic 5, French-Algerian musician Rachid Taha, Michael Franti (of American band Spearhead) and Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo. The song, based on the Grammy-winning Colombian group Aterciopelados’ Canción Protesta, is produced by Andres Levin, co-founder of Music Has No Enemies, a music production company dedicated to working for social causes and not-for-profit organizations. Aterciopelados also feature in the song, as do Julieta Venegas (Mexico), Emmanuel Jal (Sudan), Kiran Ahluwalia (Canada/India), and Cucu Diamantes and Pedro Martinez of Yerba Buena (U.S./Cuba). A special EP featuring the full track is now available exclusively through Nacional Records on iTunes to benefit Amnesty’s human rights work around the world. The EP costs $1.99 and also features a radio edit, a Spanish version and the original version of Canción Protesta. Directed by Joshua Atesh Litle, the video is set in the United Nations General Assembly and is an urgent plea to renew the commitment to human rights everywhere. It starts with a prologue from Hollywood actor Laurence Fishburne, written by poet Alicia Partnoy, who spent two years in prison during Argentina’s Dirty War. A collaboration between the world music website and radio station Afropop Worldwide, Amnesty International and Link TV Television Without Borders, The Price of Silence is also the subject of a special radio show. First broadcast on 6 December, this powerful show features five of the artists involved in the project. The artists share their thoughts and feelings about the fight for human rights in their countries and around the world, and share their songs that these struggles have inspired.