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The Interwined Relationship Between Music & Politics Visualised





Research Study

Type of Work



Visual Language

Print & Digital

I think music has the power to change the world: music
can break down barriers, it can heal and can also create meaning. Music is impactful while it can give different social groups a sense of pride and belonging while it also brings disparate people together. For me, there is no universal language like music.

Music can be employed for positive or negative actions, for populist political campaigns, but also by the anti-establishment, as a voice of protest but also for things such as sports, entertainment or religion. Music also helps me keep my creative juices flowing. So, in this project, I am exploring how music and politics are
intertwined through visual language and sequence. What you’ll see in this exhibition is how music has the power to shift poles and how it interferes with the different modalities of governance such as multi-polarity, uni-polarity, bi-polarity and “nonpolarity” which Richard N. Hass argues is a new and emerging form of governance: “power is now found in many hands and in many places”.

Technique: In order to generate meaning and let the music dictate the outcomes, almost every motion, or effect has been created by linking the sound waves of the music you are about to hear with the text. Some additional design elements such as colours, shapes and textures have also been included to enhance the experience although the movement and timing are completely


A Challenge to the Western Cultural Supremacy


Genre: Blues Western 
Artist: Kevin MacLeod 
Audio Title: Slow Burn

International Relations (IR) theory—especially neorealism—predicts that the unbalanced power of a unipolar international system should catalyze the emergence of new great powers and a quick return
to balance-of-power politics, in order to limit the power of the preeminent state and restore the system to its “natural” state of multipolarity.


A Global Governance Coalition


Genre: Ambient 
Artists: Doug Maxwell; Zac Zinger 
Audio title: Sao Meo

Bipolarity is no longer returning—it is here, and it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. News today is dominated by US-China relations, indicating a recognition of today's bipolar system, and China continues to close the gap in the economic realm. The effects of this bipolarity have substantially deepened as elites in both Washington and Beijing have become aware of the new global structure and are acting accordingly. Structure and beliefs are amplifying each other says Stephen Hopgood.

​In addition, DIG, (2020) writes that the specific link between music and politics has long been accepted by politicians. Election battlegrounds around the world frequently see politicians tussling over appropriate campaign music. The journalist John Street noted that in 2001, the UK election had been the subject of numerous articles examining the song choices of political parties. Street’s initial conclusion – that “musical taste was a mark of political credibility” – gave way to a more nuanced view that music, long censored in more repressive states, has a “capacity to provoke a political response” and that “the pleasures of music are part of its politics, not an incidental feature of them”.


A Visual Debate on
the Age of Nonpolarity


Genre: Instrumental
Artist: Twisterium
Audio Title: Island Cafe

On The World of Politics Review, Judah Grunstein, (2008) speaks about nonpolarity from a global perspective and he suggests that a nonpolar world not only involves more actors but also lacks the more predictable fixed structures and relationships that tend to define worlds of unipolarity, bipolarity, or multipolarity. Alliances, in particular, will lose much of their importance, if only because alliances require predictable threats, outlooks, and obligations, all of which are likely to be in short supply in a nonpolar world.

Relationships will instead become more selective and situational. It will become harder to classify other countries as either allies or adversaries; they will cooperate on some issues and resist on others. While for Mouffe in 2005, unipolarity hasn’t ended yet and multipolarity remains an emerging future prospect. On the other hand Richard Haass recognizes the rise of regional sovereign power hubs across the continents as an important part of his nonpolar model, but still places more emphasis on the many kinds of elusive networked agents as well as the withering away of traditional structures of diplomacy, accountability, and coalition.


Music, and the
Multipolar World.


Genre: Jazz & Blues
Artist: Adam Colt (ASCAP)
Audio Title: NOW THAT'S JAZZ

Demirhan Baylan (2020) an instanbul based composer, musician and sound engineer writes that despite being deeply engraved to humanity’s history, with all the hype and economic power it commands throughout the world, music is still taken less seriously as a social subject.

Perhaps this is because music has an almost uncontrollable ability to adapt, change, recreate and, more importantly, convince. It’s so slippery and abstract that we can hardly put a finger on it. It’s so deep that you need a theory or a belief system to hold onto, so as not to be rendered spellbound.

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