Disobedience Award

The newly established MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award will go to a person or group engaged in what judges believe is an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society.

“You don’t change the world by doing what you’re told.” — Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab

With this award, we honor work that impacts society in positive ways, and is consistent with a set of key principles. These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. This disobedience is not limited to specific disciplines; examples include scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate.

Peter is supporting the nomination of Les Amazones d’Afrique for the MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award.

Les Amazones d’Afrique is an all-female collective of highly respected African musicians who have joined forces to disobey the “rules” – which, in their culture, family, or religion, prevent women from being equal to men and leave women in a state of dependent or victimised submission. These courageous artists defy traditions in broad daylight, without hiding themselves; they boldly speak their minds onstage, using a strong symbol of disobedience in their signature song, I Play the Kora – the kora being the instrument traditionally forbidden to women.

Les Amazones d’Afrique

Offstage, in their daily lives, they actively defy the dictates of tradition so that their daughters and sisters can go to school freely and have opportunities to one day pursue leadership or political careers that will change the status quo of women’s rights.

It is for this reason that these artists vocally oppose the traditions of forced early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), by raising brave voices against these oppressive, archaic customs of their cultures.

Profits from sales of their track I Play the Kora are being donated to The Panzi Foundation, a non-for-profit organization and hospital led by Congolese gynecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, which has provided healing support to more than 80,000 women, nearly 50,000 of whom have been victims of sexual violence.

Nominations end on 1 May, so whether you join Peter in supporting Les Amazones d’Afrique or wish to nominate someone else for the award, we encourage you to take a look at the MIT Media Label website and get involved and take 5 minutes to watch this video.