Satire, Rap and Wikileaks?

YouTube enables new forms of expression, and the Rap News is a cogent example. I’ve watched a few episodes in the past and you don’t have to like the genre of music to appreciate the talent, and indeed, acute political awareness that informs these productions. This recent one on Wikileaks is a case in point – it’s brilliant.

If you have a hard time following the lyrics (they are hard-hitting and intelligent) click on the CC icon at the bottom of the video window for Closed Captions / subtitles.

Young Asia Television, a few years ago, tried a similar experiment with an anti-war rap video called ‘Lions and Tigers’ which got a very positive reception amongst the youth at the time.

The Rap News, however, is in a class of its own.

Citizen journalist satire through Banyan News Reporters


In a recent post here I noted that,

In light of a Government unable and unwilling to investigate violence against journalists and independent media, satire is one way in which violent events, processes and individuals can be held up for public scrutiny more frequently.

Banyan News Reporters on Groundviews has taken off quite well and now features a couple of submissions looking at recent events and processes in Sri Lanka related to humanitarian aid and terrorism.

There are dangers of using satire. As this example from the New York Times highlights, it can be perceived as propaganda and be taken seriously. However, keen to ultimately see the development of a local variant of The Onion, I instigated BNR as a way to channel the creativity of citizen journalists to highlight individuals, issues and processes linked to war, peace and governance in a manner different to the usual prose published on Groundviews.

On the blogosphere and on Facebook, precursors to BNR can be seen in the likes of Mahinda Rajapakse’s blog and Facebook profiles for the President, Prabhakaran and the Leader of the Opposition. But as Indi notes, real life is often more absurd and bizarre.

Click here for a list of BNR submissions, or read the latest one on the LTTE’s air attack here.

By the way, Banyan News Reporters welcomes new satirical voices. Write in!