It’s a meeting of acronyms! UK’s WOW, or Women of the World, runs an international network and movement of women and non-binary musicians, whose spirit aligns perfectly with the ethos of Indonesia’s VOB—short for Voice of Baceprot—a group of three metal musicians famous for using their music as a form of activism. Together, they created a feminist anthem for the ages.
Bodily autonomy and bodily integrity are rights central to being a whole, independent person, yet are so often cast aside, particularly when it comes to women. Voice of Baceprot (VOB)’s Marsya, Sitti, and Widi have been using their music as a means to build their voices as activists as well as to raise awareness about the violations of women’s rights around the world. As the girls get older, their activism is becoming sharper and more personal, which is reflected in their British Council residency with UK’s Women of the World (WOW).
WOW first met the Indonesian metal band online in early 2021, soon after the collective had created WOW Sounds, an international network and movement of revolutionary, boundary-pushing women and non-binary musicians. After hearing VOB’s first single, ‘School Revolution’, a track that raises awareness about the lack of education for girls, it was clear that the two had to work together, which led to VOB being recruited as one of WOW Sounds’ artists.
Upon meeting, both parties built an immediate rapport and bonded over shared goals to create a gender-equal world via creative endeavours. Funded and assisted by the British Council, the 2022 residency was their third collaboration, first to be organised digitally, and most ambitious to date. Although VOB had created music videos for their singles ‘God Allow Me Please To Play Music’ and ‘School Revolution’ for International Women’s Day 2021, they felt the need to do something different for the 2022 edition.
This led to the creation of ‘[NOT] PUBLIC PROPERTY’, a track that urges young women to own their bodies, specifically composed for the similarly-titled residency. It is also VOB’s first song to be written by its members without the aid of mentor and former teacher Abah Ezra, who played a significant role in the band’s formation, thereby signalling the group’s artistic development.