An almost 15-minute-long piece of music directed by Sarp Palaur and produced by Murat Acar, which features 17 artists from Turkey’s underground music scene, was released about a week ago. Within a week, it was already played over 18 million times. What was the power?
Susamam is a Turkish Hip Hop track which translates to “I can’t stay silent”. It brings up subjects such as nature destruction, the inequality of law, woman abuse, access to education and animal rights. It brings questions about our existence or purpose of life. The song aimed to push people towards greater consideration and respect.
Sarp Palaur, a rapper known as Saniser, who is also the director of the music video, began arranging the track two months ago, dividing it into verses that each deal with a particular social issue. “I’ve seen how good it is to believe that music can change things,” said by Palaur. “Please don’t appropriate our song for any single political viewpoint and do not assume that we are opposed to any political viewpoint.”
As you might have already known, dissent in Turkey has increasingly found its outlet online as the government has cracked down on street protests and other avenues of opposition in recent years, like China, Singapore, Pakistan, Russia and many more countries. It certainly took lots of courage to speak what you want the world to know in those countries.
If you look carefully, the part with Deniz Tekin, the only female artist in the video, about Women's rights, the verse ends with the names of some of the 220 women killed in Turkey so far this year flashing up on screen. She also lists a series of common abuses faced by Turkish women. Woman abuse is a chronic problem in countries like Turkey, India, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria which is widely ignored.
Not only the rights for human but animal rights was also broached through the track. "Major immorality requires imbeciles." "Not all humans are guilty but all animals are innocent." these lines did touch me, not because of its capital letters.
Is art should not be a tool of provocation and political manipulation? Surely it is not agreed by AKP (Justice and Development Party) deputy chairman and Izmir MP Hamza Dag. The former AKP mayor for Ankara, Melih Gokcek, claimed the song was the work of the group behind the 2016 failed coup.
Since some days, #Sustunuz or “You were quiet”, has been also trending on Twitter. Will you start acting?
Salute to the artists for their courage for not being silent. Thanks Berna for sharing.