Celebrating feminist joy: The power of a collaboratively built playlist

Photo by Yasmine El Abed, used with permission.

The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is a global feminist membership and movement support organization working to achieve gender justice and women’s human rights worldwide.

In times when music has the ability to move hearts and stimulate change, a group of AWID members from across the globe came together to curate a playlist that goes beyond entertainment. This collaboratively built playlist is more than just a collection of songs; it serves as powerful evidence of the importance of having a feminist music repertoire that resonates with diverse experiences and voices.

Gather, disrupt, and seed — these three pillars intertwine within the selected songs, bringing together a playlist that sparks joy, challenges norms, and plants the seeds of change, featuring a vibrant mix of pop songs, tracks by feminist and queer artists, and traditional music from various regions. Its creation was driven by a collective desire to celebrate feminist joy and resistance. AWID members, united by their commitment to gender equality and social justice, found strength and inspiration in these songs. They wanted to share “FemJoy” with others.

In the spirit of gathering, one of the playlist's highlights is “Capitalist Chant” from the album KahruMusiqa by Badiaa Bouhrizi. This powerful song is part of the music that speaks out against oppression in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and raises a bold voice against capitalist exploitation and systemic inequalities. Its rhythmic chants and provocative lyrics serve as a rallying cry for collective action and social change.

To disrupt societal norms and pave the way for a fearless future, “We Are Future Fearless” takes center stage. Created by young girls and non-binary children in collaboration with creative role models, this song embodies the belief that the fears we confront become opportunities. It challenges limitations and inspires listeners to break free from constraints. 

The playlist also grows seeds of resilience and determination. “Jericho” by Iniko adds a spiritual touch, drawing parallels to the queer movement's fight against injustice. It calls for courage and mobilizing power to break walls of oppression. The song plants seeds of collective strength and inspires listeners to create a more just and inclusive world.

Intertwined within the playlist are songs chosen by individual AWID members for their personal connections. “Abolo” explores the journey of transformation through a romantic relationship with a sex worker, evoking feminist and political awareness. It celebrates personal growth while providing a groovy beat to dance to. “What's Up?” serves as a powerful anthem, highlighting the survival of queer individuals in a patriarchal world. It amplifies the strength and resilience of queer voices in the face of adversity.

This collaborative playlist not only serves as a source of inspiration and empowerment but also provides a platform for sharing and documenting narratives. It becomes the root through which feminist movements can unite, connect, and amplify their voices. Music has long been a catalyst for change, and this playlist exemplifies the transformative power it holds.

Whether you need a little dose of queer feminist fire or seek a soundtrack for your own resistance, this playlist stands ready to uplift and speak truth to power. It represents a collective effort to create spaces of joy, celebration, and solidarity. In a world where voices are often silenced, these songs sing loudly, reminding us of the importance of music in feminist movements.

So, turn up the volume and let the sounds ignite your own journey toward liberation and equality. Celebrate feminist joy, embrace resistance, and dance to the rhythm of change. Together, let's gather, disrupt, and seed a future that amplifies every voice and cultivates lasting impact.

Listen to the compiled playlist here and find a complete collection of playlists from Global Voices and our partners on our Spotify account.

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