Check It Out: “How Can I Tell You?” by Angélique Kidjo



Editors' Note: We received the following from people supporting the protests against the suppression of political prisoners in Iran.

The influential cultural magazine Variety recently reported that Grammy Awards winner Angélique Kidjo has released her video of her song “How Can I Tell You?” and entered it into the Oscars song race. Kidjo was the Grammy winner for the Best World Music Album in 2020. “How Can I Tell You?” is from the documentary Nasrin by filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross about the life and activism of well-known Iranian political prisoner, the civil and women’s rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. (Sotoudeh is among many political prisoners now under the reactionary fundamentalist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. See “Free All Political Prisoners in Iran NOW.”)

Kidjo said “I am so glad to be part of this beautiful project. I want Nasrin to be free because if she’s not free, none of us are free. She’s fighting for human rights, the right to decide what we want to do with our lives, the right to choose our own future. I think each one of us around the world—it doesn’t matter where you live—you should be sensitive to the fight of Nasrin. We all have to come together and continue putting pressure on the Iranian government to free her. She needs us now to rally around her, to carry the message of freedom of speech, freedom for all, to be at the center of our concerns day in and day out. That’s why I am standing side by side with Nasrin.”

The original song was written by the Tony-award winning, and Academy-Award nominated, team of Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music). They expressed their reason for joining the film project: “We saw an early rough cut of the film and read some of Nasrin’s letters, written from prison to her children. We were deeply moved by Nasrin’s courageous life story and her love for her family. This immediately inspired our song, ‘How Can I Tell You?’ As sung by four-time Grammy winner and activist Angélique Kidjo, the song takes on the power of women around the world who witness and experience injustice and demand to be heard.”

The video of Kidjo’s performance ends with a challenging message from Nasrin to people everywhere who witness and experience injustice: “Our Children Must Not Inherit Silence”. Go here for Kidjo’s incredible performance of “How Can I Tell You.”



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