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Feminist Peace Singer Baez at Eighty


Deutsche Welle, the international media voice of Germany, pays its respects to protest and folk singer, Joan Baez as she turns eighty this month. In an essay by Susanne Sproer in Berlin, Baez's life story is revealed, including her activism for peace and for equalities in general. Baez was part of the folk music revival which helped pave the way for protest music in the late sixties, and she always remained true to her political roots. In 1980, seeing that this woman was critical of capitalism, the East German Government invited her to perform, seeing this as a potential propaganda coup. But Baez hated leftist authoritarian regimes as much as the oppression of capitalism, and when she went on stage she invited the dissident anti-communist songwriter Wolf Biermann join her on stage. The communist, heterosexual dictatorship which ruled East Germany at the time, were furious. They prevented the Baez concert, which was being filmed, from ever being broadcast on the state controlled TV station. Joan Baez, who in the last few years released an anti-Donald Trump song, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. She performed a farewell tour in 2019 and is now enjoying a quiet retirement. Feminist icon, and anti-racist, anti-authoritarian campaigner, Baez turns eighty this month.

Women in Music

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