In 2013, the revered pop culture/music channel MTV launched a new series of documentaries, entitled Rebel Music. The idea behind the series was to highlight stories of young fearless musicians and artists around the world who are rising up against oppression in their respective countries. The series had its premiere last November and really hit a nerve – the first episode, Rebel Music: Native America, became one of MTV’s top most viewed and shared videos of all time.
The full second season of the series – which ventured into Iran, Myanmar, Turkey, Venezuela, Senegal, and the Native American communities of North America – was launched at the end of last month, with the first episode aired being the Turkey episode. Since it has been uploaded onto YouTube three weeks ago, it has garnered over two million views. And it’s easy to see why. The topic of the short film? Gezi Park.
If you have half an hour, I strongly urge you to watch this bold, well-made doco, telling the stories of Istanbul’s young heroes who didn’t let the government take their precious park. The film features the band Tahribad-ı İsyan, which wields hip-hop as a beacon of truth, the journalist Gökhan Biçici who writes about Turkey’s realities despite being beaten and arrested, and the student Juliana Gözen who fights for women rights on campus and in the streets.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane of the events that happened during the Gezi Park protests, read Cornucopia’s diary here (or see the ‘More Reading’ section below).