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South Korea: Protest music returns to be remembered

10 November 2004

South Korea: Protest music returns to be remembered
For protesters scared of arresting officers and being bludgeoned in the streets, some were too frightened to express their minds. But with songs people found the courage to deliver their message. Until the late 1980s, recording music that criticized the government was prohibited.

Undeterred, students and laborers working outside the universities wrote songs and spread them remarkably from city to city by word of mouth. Now available in a re-released album, the organization that made this music possible wants to ensure these songs that survived this violent and testing time in Korea are not forgotten and are heard by a new generation, said one of the founders of Noraeleul Chatneun Saramdeul, also known as “Nochatsa” for short, and translates to “People Searching for Songs.” Calling them a band wouldn`t exactly be accurate since more than 150 people were involved with the group from 1984 to 1996. Made up of many people who barely had musical backgrounds, the point was not to top the charts, but topple militaristic regimes.

Story from The Korea Herald

 
See also “Music for the great leader: policy and practice in North Korea”, by Keith Howard, in Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today (Freemuse/Zed Books, 2004)
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