Remembering the troubadour of the Libyan revolution

Matthew Millan talks about his documentary which follows defiant musicians who emerged during the Libyan uprising.

When the uprising to overthrow Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi began in 2011, a bold music scene emerged amid the violence. After 42 years of oppression and a ban on non-Arabic music, a cultural force sprang up.

In the city of Benghazi, musicians such as Libyan rapper MC Swat, Malik L, who returned to his homeland from the US, and Dado, a Bosnian music producer who settled in Libya after fleeing the Bosnian War in the early 1990s, were some of the key figures of this movement.

But it was the charismatic and beloved Masoud Buisir, who became known for playing his guitar and singing to the rebel fighters on the frontline, who perhaps best epitomised this spirit. 

Filmmaker Matthew Millan follows this explosive music scene, which quickly flourished only to go back underground when conflict and chaos gripped Libya within just a couple of years after the fall of Gaddafi, in his documentary Stronger than Bullets, filmed between 2011 and 2013.

Millan speaks to Al Jazeera’s Annette Ekin about being at the centre of a countercultural movement, the Libyan musicians he met, and why Masoud Buisir will always be “the troubadour of the revolution”.

For more on the Witness documentary “Stronger Than Bullets” click here.

Source : Al Jazeera

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