We’re not that far off from the 250th anniversary of American independence, and even then music played an important role in instilling the idea of freedom within its people. In 1985, the brutal dictator Moammar Gaddafi seized power in Libya…as a representative of the people. After seeing children in the park playing the guitar, Gaddafi outlawed all musical instruments and ordered them to be burned in a public display. Filmmaker Matthew Millan in his documentary Stronger Than Bullets shows how music helped take down a government and spark a revolution.
“…the Libyan people finally had enough and took on the dictator with no weapons, but a spirit hungry for freedom.”
Throughout Gaddafi’s regime, citizens were forced to bow to this authoritarian dictator. Any dissent was met with imprisonment and execution or, for the lucky ones, seeking refuge in other countries. Those left behind laid lying-in-wait for the right moment for a revolution to arise.
As told in Stronger Than Bullets, that right moment…that start of a revolution began in 2011 when the Libyan people finally had enough and took on the dictator with no weapons, but a spirit hungry for freedom. Amid this coup was a small band of musicians from varying styles, including Masoud Buisir (the Troubadour), representing Hip/Hop MC Swat and Malik L, and Rocker Rami El Kalah. Behind them was the master producer Jasmin “Dado” Ikanovic.
"…Gaddafi outlawed all musical instruments and ordered them to be burned in a public display."