Musician and rapper El Général comments on music censorship in Tunisia.
|This interview with El Général was recorded by Freemuse Programme Manager Ole Reitov in Stockholm, Sweden, in September 2011.|
Hamada Ben-Amor – known by his fans as ‘El Général’ (‘The General’) – was arrested in January 2011 after posting a song on the Internet entitled ‘Rais le Bled’ (rap slang for ‘President, Your Country’) that talks about the problems of the youth and unemployment. The song came out in December 2010 as students, professionals and youths mounted a series of protests over a shortage of jobs and restrictions on public freedoms, and it soon became a famous ‘anthem’ for the protesters, described as the “anthem of the Jasmine Revolution”.
After the overthrow of President Ben Ali, his songs enjoyed enormous popularity in Tunisia, particularly ‘Rais le Bled’ which gained him international recognition. His upcoming album ‘La Voix Du Peuple’ (The Voice of the People) is being supported by the new Tunisian Ministry of Culture.
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