“When MTV’s “Rebel Music” debuted last year, the globe-trotting documentary series searched out passionate young artists driving change in hot spots including Egypt and Afghanistan. This time around, it stays close to home with Native American activists. There’s Frank Waln, a hip-hop artist seeking to protect the environment and his heritage, and pop musician Inez Jasper, demanding attention for women’s rights and safe harbor from violence.” L. Elber Daily Herald
Excerpt: MTV’s ‘Rebel Music’ stays close to home with Native American activists By Lynn Elber, Daily Herald
“Musicians Nataanii Means, son of American Indian Movement activist Russell Means, and Mike Clifford, working together to foster hope and fight suicide among Native American youngsters, also are featured in the series, debuting at 3 p.m. Thursday on MTV’s Facebook page.
The music is my shield and my weapon, Waln, a Sioux Indian from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, says with touching determination in the film.
The episode — premiering well before season two begins next year in order to coincide with Native American Heritage Month — surprised even the executive behind it.
I have never been so moved and inspired as I was by this production,” said Nusrat Durrani, general manager of MTV World and creator of the Rebel Music series. As soon as we started the research, we knew we have a very compelling story right here in our own backyard. The film does not shrink from touching on the harsh realities Native Americans face, including suicide and poverty rates…
Native American filmmaker Billy Luther, the documentary’s co-director, found the young artists to be as intrepid as they are impressive: One started making beats on an old Casio, he said, and others searched out in the community what they lacked at home.”
Rebel Music: Native America will air later this week and next on channels including MTV2 and mtvU, and will be made available free for downloading or streaming on iTunes, Hulu and other platforms. It’s the first long-form MTV program to debut on Facebook, the network said.
“Here’s another way of looking at the world…The world is not only steeped in negativity and conflict…There are beautiful stories, too, stories that will inspire us and give us hope.” ~Nusrat Durrani~ General Manager of MTV World and creator of the Rebel Music series. 2014.
- What is the purpose of the Rebel Music series?
- Name (and discuss) two issues that plague Native American youngsters today.
- Besides traditional songs, what other types of music are Native muscians known for?
- Discuss some ways in which this film will bring positive change in Native communities.
- Identify the following people and their contributions to Native communities:
- Billy Luther
- Frank Waln
- Nataanii Means
- Mike Clifford