A South by Southwest (SXSW) showcase will feature musical performances by people from the countries banned in President Trump's immigration executive order. Organizers of the event said they hope the showcase will send a message and give a voice to all global artists.
Film, media and music fans from all over the world make their way to Austin for SXSW. One performance scheduled for the 2017 festival will showcase musical talent but with a political twist.
The showcase called “Contrabanned” #MusicUnites will feature musical performances by people from the seven countries banned in President Trump's immigration executive order. Organizers of the event said they hope this showcase will send a message and give a voice to all global artists.
Fleeing their country of Somalia to escape civil war the sister singing duo of “Faarrow” relocated to Canada as refugees. They are one of many of the artists performing at the special showcase. J.J. El-Far is one of the Contrabanned event organizers, “This is a show that is intended to really take a stand in the name of cultural diversity,” she said.
President Trump’s executive order has been temporarily suspended, but organizers of Contrabanned said it continues to hold massive social and political impact. “The travel ban really kind of grates against our sensibility as global citizens where we feel like culture and music is borderless and is fluid and always changing and is always blended and mixed and that's what great about it. So to kind of inflict this nation state border on something that really defies boarders in a way is something we feel very strongly about,” El-Far said.
Other musicians from the banned countries performing at the showcase include Khaled M, a Libyan-American hip-hop artist and son of a Libyan revolutionary. Ash Koosha is an electronic musician from Iran. “All of these artists are taking a little bit of maybe what you think of when you think of those countries and their styles and their flipping it and mixing it in their own way and it's completely fresh,” El-Far said.
El-Far said this show is not about politics, but rather a celebration of music that comes from different parts of the world. “Coming together as Americans and as artists and cultural workers to make sure that we amplifying the voices in the margins and we are celebrating these voices,” she said.
The “Contrabanned” showcase is set for Friday, March 17th at the Palm Door.
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The organizers have started a kickstarter campaign to help with the artists with their travel accommodations. If you would like to help you can click here.