20 October 2011
Shortly after his first new studio release in 15 years: ”I’m New Here”, the poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron past away last May.Yet he shall always remain best known for his 1970 work “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
During the upcoming festival, on November 5th, Stuart Baker will screen his 1988 film in which Heron’s infamous song will be relayed line by line with a video-typewriter.
”The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is an attack on apathy and the anesthetizing effect of the shiny television screen but moreover it is a rally towards the black community: You will not be able to stay home, brother./You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out./You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,/Skip out for beer during commercials,/Because the revolution will not be televised.” There won’t be any change without uprising. The media and in fact the rest of the world will only perpetuate what already is. The revolution will not be shiny, easy or sponsored, trying to change society is hard. These sentiments have later on been explored by rappers such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Common, notably in Blackstar – Respiration ft. Common
In his interview with Gil Scott-Heron about this piece Skip Blumberg poses the question if the revolution will be televised in the nineties? We can now state that the revolution will not be televised, but live-streamed.