As the world was going crazy over the winners, the style, and the speeches at the Academy Awards last week, another kind of Oscar was awarded to groundbreaking videos, visual effects, and songs that fight global corruption: the Honesty Oscars.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4oMi4pWv9o]
Created by ONE and Accountability Lab, this alternative awards ceremony nominated the song “El Soor” (The Wall) by Egyptian accordionist Youssra Al-Hawary for Best Activist Anthem. As her music video shows, Youssra’s song addresses Cairo’s graffiti covered walls, erected to block access to Tahrir Square.
“I sing this song to any one who thinks a wall can prevent anyone from doing anything, to anyone who thinks walls can stop dreams, to any wall no matter how high it is”, she says.
Her French-style folk, her humorous attitude and the commitment to set those walls and their anonymous spray-painted words to music have earned her the international recognition, though the award finally went to Cameroon’s Dr. Sley and Da Green Soljas for their song “Down by the riverside”.
Youssra adapted her song from an old poem “written long ago by caricaturist Walid Taher,” she explains, “but when I checked it again in 2012, I quickly linked it to the walls that were being built around Tahrir Square, which I found very disturbing.” Now, inspired by the creativity of Cairo’s graffiti makers, Taher’s words have been given a new life in the swaying rhythm of an accordion.
For more information – Youssra Al-Hawary’s website.