Berlin, 7 March 2018 – Ahead of World Day Against Cyber Censorship on March 12th, creative agency DDB Germany and digital production company MediaMonks have created The Uncensored Playlist for Reporters Without Borders Germany (Reporter ohne Grenzen), which uses music as a loophole to share censored news stories in countries where freedom of speech is under attack.
Focusing on the censored media landscapes in China, Egypt, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, DDB Germany and MediaMonks worked over 5 months to help acclaimed independent journalists and local musicians turn two news stories from each country into pop songs.
The creative duo Lucas Mayer (Music Composer) and Iris Fuzaro (Film Director) from the Le Tour Du Monde Project were responsible for rewriting and producing the songs together with local musicians, documenting the process in film.
The journalists that transformed the 10 stories into songs include exiled Chinese journalist Chang Ping, members of the Thai network for free journalism Prachatai, Basma Abdelaziz from Cairo, Uzbekistan’s Galima Bukharbaeva and Vietnamese blogger Bui Thanh Hieu (The Wind Merchant).
The songs are available worldwide (including the five countries) in English and in the local language, together with unique album artworks. The journalist’s name is listed as the artist and the article headline as the song name. On the website www.uncensoredplaylist.com
Lyrics, original articles, biographies and narrative music videos help tell the stories in a rich and vivid way. To ensure that the music reaches everyone and to prove that #truthfindsaway, The Uncensored Playlist is also additionally available (within the five countries) with the journalists’ names protected by aliases, neutral album artworks, and alternative song titles, tweaked to work around pre-censorship, in case the original tracks get blocked. To reach The Uncensored Playlist’s target listeners, DDB Germany and MediaMonks ensured that access to at least one of the selected streaming platforms Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music was available in each country.
Bianca Dordea, Managing Director of the Berlin office of DDB Germany: “The Uncensored Playlist shows oppressive leaders all over the world that they can’t silence freedom of information. More than a fundraising or awareness effort, we’re happy to have landed on a unique way – music as a Trojan Horse, of sorts – to allow these censored stories to reach the world”. DDB Germany has previously partnered with Reporters Without Borders Germany on #WritingHelps and Whistles for Whistleblowers, to help important issues make an impact through creativity.
Victor Knaap, main monk, MediaMonks: “When we heard DDB Germany’s idea to use music and digital technology as a unique way of sharing the truth, we leapt at the chance to help make it happen. We’re humbled to be supporting acclaimed journalists share their stories far and wide, and we hope this is just the beginning of digital borders opening up. With The Uncensored Playlist we’re going back to the very roots of storytelling – how else can we use music to make a difference?”
The Uncensored Playlist is available on Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify under #truthfindsaway.