Austin Dacey – Rock the Theocrats

September 26, 2011

This coming October, in Kabul, Afghanistan—on a date, and in a location, that remain undisclosed—there will be a rock concert that’s billed as the world’s “first stealth music festival.”

It will feature rock, heavy metal, and funk from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Iran.

Why “stealth”? In some of these countries, music is equivalent to political and religious subversion. Which is precisely why those of us who care about liberal democracy and secularism need to also care, deeply indeed, about music—and ensuring it gets out.

This week, Point of Inquiry spoke to an adviser of the Kabul event, as well as a longtime freethinker, and musician—Austin Dacey. He’s head of the Impossible Music Sessions, which describes itself as featuring “the artists who cannot appear and the music that is banned in their homelands.”

The purpose of the organization is to bring together musicians, producers, and audiences across cultures, space, and genres to share musical expression-and, enlarge its political potential.

Austin also happens to be a philosopher, author, and human rights activist. His books include The Secular Conscience and, due out next year, The Future of Blasphemy.

Links Mentioned in this Episode

The Impossible Music Sessions
The Central Asian Modern Music Festival