Artists Empowering Their Community to Create Change
16:45 - 17:30
DeLaMar Theater (D5 Panel Room) | Marnixstraat 402, Amsterdam
Dance music is escapism, right? It's about forgetting the trials and tribulations of the outside world – including all the social and environmental themes that plague our days... isn't it? Wrong. Dance music and politics are intrinsically intertwined and have been since its origins.
The role of electronic music, however, seems to have changed drastically over the years. Techno may now be best known as a European phenomenon marked by hedonism and escapism these days, its roots are steeped in black protest and the plight of Detroit. Think about Underground Resistance who utilised their sound to let people in on their struggle. And don’t forget how disco’s 1970’s heyday opened doors for black, hispanic and gay people on the stage and our dancefloors. And remember the story of JACK in Chuck Roberts's timeless narratives? Its origins take us back to the late 80s when disco was on its way out and its hotter relative, Chicago house, was starting to bloom. So what was Jack? It was much more than a speech about house music. It’s more than a dance or a party. It’s the universal feeling of being connected to people by something that’s bigger than yourself.
One of the world’s biggest challenges today is that we feel disconnected and unaffected from each other and global issues such as climate change and human rights violations. We know what’s going on and we hear about these world problems on a daily basis, but it hardly really gets under our skin. But there’s good news: this generation's ravers and electronic music consumers – or at least a very energised section of them – are woke and poised for action! It’s about time we give them some credit.
This is also a domain where artists, with their music reaching millions, can make a real difference. Do DJ’s, just like back in the days, have a responsibility to use their power of speech to engage millions of fans in thinking, engagement, and even action? And how can artists build bridges between their audiences and complex sustainability and social issues?
In this panel we hear from a range of fascinating and influential artists from the industry how they use their power of speech and music to activate and inspire their fans.
Dave Clarke (GB)
Dominic Peters (Goldfish, SA)
Sam Feldt (Artist, NL)
Tala Mortada (LB)
Alison Tickell (Julie's Bicycle, UK)