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SEP 23, 2013 - Activist-musician Jason Mraz spoke out against human slavery and played a concert in Burma/Myanmar on March 8, 2013, and the crowd and concert was huge and electrifying. It was all recorded in HD and is now airing on VH1 Palladia, check your local listings. The concert was in one of the most inaccessible places on the planet, near the 2,600-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda, in the People's Park in Burma, or Myanmar. Myanmar's military government does not allow freedom of expression and thought, so this was extraordinary. The concert was meant to be a huge statement against human trafficking, or slavery, which is a terrible scourge in Asia and around the world. Jason Mraz came out on stage with a "Slavery Sucks" t-shirt and also filmed a PSA speaking out against slavery, and is trying to raise awareness on this issue so we can eradicate this horrible practice. MTV has formed "MTV Exit", an organization dedicated to ending slavery; and you can learn more about the concert, their efforts, and even Tweets and Facebook posts from fans in the audience about their memories of that special night, as well as watch Jason's PSA against slavery on their website they created. Check out the MTV Exit website here, also check out the post about the event on MTV News.
Check out Jason Mraz from the concert in the People's Park performing "The Freedom Song"below, and leave a comment on JTMP's Facebook Page here. (photo credit: Ralf-Andre Lettau/CC)
Russians seize control of Greenpeace ship "Arctic Sunrise" after they attempted to board an Arctic oil drilling rig to protest oil drilling in the Barents Sea. Read more on JTMP Green here. (photo credit: Greenpeace.org)
SEP 18, 2013 - NBCNews.com has an article up about the growing phenomenon of "copy tracks"; where musical acts in Myanmar copy popular songs note for note, putting their own words to it in their local language. Many of their fans think it is their song and are totally oblivious that some of these songs are from popular groups such as Metallica and Lady Gaga. The article also delves into the "censorship panels" set up by the Myanmar government to censor any entertainment or music they felt was "revolutionary, salacious or even overtly foreign" and how this climate gave rise to the "copy track" genre. The "biggest rock star alive in Myanmar", Lay Phyu, is interviewed about copy tracks and more in a very informative article by Patrick Winn on NBCNews.com here. Watch the copy track "Exits" by Lay Phyu below, (think Metallica's "Sandman") where Neoreborn Swe on YouTube has put some graphics to it using clips of the violent and bloody struggle for freedom against the military junta. Comments? Use our JTMP Facebook Page and start a conversation!
WARNING: This video is very graphic.
SEP 17, 2013 - Madonna has posted a news post on her website announcing her "secretprojectrevolution" (all lowercase), a 17-minute film she co-directs with Steven Klein that will be unveiled on September 24th, 2013. She says the film is an Art For Freedom project; and will be "an online global initiative to further freedom of expression, created by Madonna, curated by VICE, and distributed by BitTorrent."
Madonna says, "My goal is to show by example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression. I hope my film and other submissions to Art For Freedom will be a call-to-action and give people a place to voice their own creative expression to help fight oppression, intolerance and complacency."
Her website says Art For Freedom is a "global digital initiative, led by Madonna, designed to fuel free speech - to respond, address and protest persecution around the world. It is an online public art project encouraging the world to express their personal meaning of freedom and revolution, in the form of video, music, poetry, and photography." JTMP will post the film when it comes out, for now check out this "Trailer" here, to read more about secretprojectrevolution check out Madonna's website here, and finally to check out the Art For Freedom website go here.
SEP 17, 2013 - Singer Katy Perry found herself defending her use of animals in her new "Roar" music video, which features many animals such as an elephant, a crocodile, and even a tiger. PETA complained in a letter obtained by Hollywood Reporter stating, "...animals used for entertainment in film and television endure horrific cruelty and suffer from extreme confinement and violent training methods".
Katy Perry responded with a letter from the American Humane Association that stated they believed that the "Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media were followed and that no animal was harmed in the making of this music video." Read more on Hollywood Reporter.com here, and watch Katy Perry "Roar"! here. (photo credit: Simon Wedege Peterson/CC)
SEP 17, 2013 - Musical-activist Harry Belafonte, who has been active politically and always at work in community activism for decades, has been rewarded for all his great work with a 2013 Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International. Harry Belafonte started his activism back in 1950s, where he refused to play down in the southern states, as a protest against the racism. President John F. Kennedy named him cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. He was a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., and was very active in the civil rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s. He continued his activism and speaking out throughout his career to the present, criticizing the George W. Bush administration and even President Obama; saying he is disconnected from the needs of the poor saying, "I think we will be forever disappointed in what that administration will deliver."
Mr. Belafonte will be given Amnesty International's highest award tonight at Mansion House in Dublin Ireland, by musical-activists Bono and Roger Waters, "recognizing individuals who have promoted or enhanced the cause of human rights through their life and by example." In a statement Mr. Belafonte said, "Since it's birth, I have been devoted to the principles for which Amnesty International stands. It is an honor to receive the recognition being bestowed. Amnesty International's stand on any universal abuse to human rights has been courageous and is our moral compass."
Pakistani teenager women's education and human rights activist Malala Yousafzai is also being bestowed with the honor. Read more on Amnesty International's website here. (photo: Belafonte with Sydney Poitier and Charlton Heston 1963 Civil Rights March, DC - Credit: US Information Agency/CC)
SEP 12, 2013 - JTMP is a strong supporter of new and fairer forms of capitalism, and we strongly support cooperatives and employee-owned businesses like Publix; and we ran across a great project going on with online retailer Aplomb we just had to tell you about. They have turned their website into a forum where people exchange ideas about important issues and build up votes to use as currency. Art work is inspired, and that art is then put on their t-shirts that the "Creative Conspiracy", as they call themselves, can buy with their accumulated activist work credit they have done online.
JTMP caught up with Ryan from Aplomb in an email interview, and he was nice enough to tell us about how it all began. Ryan explained to JTMP that Aplomb started back in 2006 with his observation on how little you could pay artists in the t-shirt apparel business, and he also felt other injustices within the apparel industry were happening. Their "streetwear brand" t-shirt apparel business would pay as little as $200 for the artist's work, and didn't even have to give them credit. He says in the interview, "Something that stuck out was how ridiculous 'lifestyle' brands were. It was crazy that people would actually pay or buy into someone's lifestyle. That is when the epiphany started." Ryan then went on to say, "I would get people involved in the brand, use their ideas to provide significant meaning in the products we sold instead of promoting another 'lifestyle'. I would pay artists fairly and promote them along with the people's ideas instead of ourselves. In an industry that promotes the promotion of self we knew we had the opportunity to change things by putting the fans and the artists first."
CLICK READ MORE TO READ REST OF INTERVIEW
SEP 13, 2013 - In a SFGate interview, Sheryl Crow talks about her new song "Best of Times", and hints that it is kind of an 'activist song', and called it a "hopeful song". She is in San Francisco to do what she does often, and that is activism in the community for various issues and causes. This time it is the Macy's Passport Presents Glamorama, which is a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS organizations. Read more on SFGate.com here, and watch her perform (and record!) the song in a YouTube video from TheWarnerSound below.
SEPT 12, 2013 - During a stop in Washington, D.C. for the National Farmers Union conference, rocker Neil Young commented on the devastated conditions of the Alberta town Fort McMurray due to the oil sands operation at the Athabasca Oil Sands; and compared the damage to Hiroshima after the atomic bomb. Read more on JTMP Green here.
SEP 12, 2013 - A new play called "Woody Sez", portraying the music and activism of the legendary activist-musician Woody Guthrie, is being put on by the Cleveland Play House. It is directed by Nick Corley and David M. Lutken, and features all his great songs such as "This Land is Your Land", "The Ballad of Tom Joad", and "Bound For Glory" to name just a few. To read a review on the production, as well as an interview with the director Nick Corley and more information about the show, check out News-Herald.com here.