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Messenger Band (Cambodia)

A garment worker girl band which grew from Womyns’ Agenda for Change (WAC)’s long engagement in the self determination building among Cambodian garment workers. WAC’s approach has been to expose and conscientious women workers in order for them to fully participate and determine their paths as a collective to bring positive change to workers as a social group and more broadly to challenge on gender stereo type, discrimination and violence in society. Apart from traditional forms of communication and learning, workers have seen through their exposure elsewhere the power of song. 

Musicians from Southeast Asia come together to collaborate on songs that amplify and support peoples’ struggles across the region

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The Asian Music for Peoples’ Peace and Progress or AMP3, a collective of artists with a network of socially engaged musicians across Asia is organizing a co-creative cross-cultural songwriting workshop to be held from 14-20 June, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Sama-sama: Asian Co-Creative Gathering” will bring singer-songwriters associated with AMP3 from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste, and Thailand together to co-create and cross-translate songs about social, political, cultural, and other issues they and their communities face.

According to AMP3 convenor Jess Santiago: “The project will explore, assess, identify and synthesise processes of co-creation and cross-translation among artists (singer-songwriters especially) from Asia.  We hope to initiate processes that may be replicated for and adapted to varying conditions facing artists and their communities in future related activities. The project will promote both artistic merit and social impact in exploring processes to be developed and adapted thus fostering both the intrinsic and instrumental value of Asian People’s Music.”

Filipino-Australian musician Bong Ramilo, one of the faciitators of the workshop adds: “The participants will work through structured workshops to discuss and select themes inspired by the realities of their communities and collaboratively create songs featuring diverse Asian languages and musical idioms based on these themes. They will also cross-translate songs — for example, translating a song in Bahasa Indonesia into Khmer and other languages (those of the participants) — to better popularise diverse songs across the Region.

A recording of the songs from the co-creation and cross-translation workshop is targetted for release by the end of the year.

This project is supported by the ANA – Arts Network Asia (, an enabling grant body, set up by a group of independent artists, cultural workers and arts activists from Asia, that encourages collaboration, initiated and sited in Asia and carried out by Asian artists.  The workshop is also made possible with the continuing support from Focus on the Global South and the Thai Public Broadcasting System.#


Rock vs the Round: Musicians against the WTO


Musicians against the WTO (MAW) represents the coming together of various artists in a project aimed at popularizing issues and generating public interest on the WTO and globalization issues in the Philippines.

Conceptualized in early September 2005, MAW became part of the trade campaign in the Philippines spearheaded by the Stop the New Round Coalition, Focus on the Global South, Kilusang Mangingisda, Tambuyog Development Center, NGOs for Fisheries Reform, Philnet-RDI, and Jubilee South.

MAW produced Rock against the Round CD– a compilation of songs reflecting various perspectives on globalization, from the personal to the political. The CD features 12 songs from a diverse mix of artists representing different music

al genres from folk to punk. The songs touch on themes of poverty and inequality, hunger and food insecurity, commodification of lives and natural resources, global hegemony and domination.

The songs on the Album

 Espasyo – The Village Idiots

Welcome to the Free World – Noel Cabangon

(Hangga’t maari) Ayaw Naming Pumatay – Einstein Chakras

Million Dollar Man – Agaw Agimat

Food Trip- Radio Active Sago Project

Who’s Next- Bridge

Free Market Bull – Strap on 7 inch

Vampire Sam (the global order) – Beauty of Doubt

(ikaw) ay Karne – Datu’s Tribe

Pa-experience – Pedicab

Changes (justice not politics) – Pink Cow

Republika de lata – the Wuds

In 2008, MAW staged a mini-concert in Cubao X, in Quezon City, Philippines which featured performances from Noel Cabangon, Jess Santiago, Pedicab, Peryodiko, Radioactive Sago Project, Village Idiots and Sandwich as part of the continuing campaign against WTO and the Doha Round.

“What is happening in the WTO, the domination by the rich over the poor, the powerful over the powerless is colonialism revisited. Only now it goes by the name globalization. Artists today like those that resisted colonialism in the past must act against and inspire resistance to the oppression and domination” said musician Jess Santiago.

“In these times, for musicians and artists to be apathetic in face of a reprehensible anti-people force like the WTO is a criminal act” added Lourd de Veyra, front man of Radioactive Sago Project.

Listen online and download the album at