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Rock ‘n Roll music played an important  role in changing hearts and minds of young people behind the Iron Curtain, introducing them to freedom of speech and democracy. In recent years, the genre has been used to promote hate, discrimination, xenophobia and white supremacy. Is this a contradiction?

Nancy Love and Andras Simonyi will present their own thesis and discuss the role of rock music for change. Andras Simonyi will bring his red StratoCaster and play the song that changed his life forever. Federiga Bindi will moderate the debate.

Ambassador Andras Simonyi is the Managing Director of CTR. He has been involved in Rock ‘n Roll music for fifty years and has written extensively about the role Rock ‘n Roll music had in bringing down the Wall.

Nancy S. Love is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government & Justice Studies and Humanities Council Coordinator at Appalachian State University. She received her Ph.D. in 1984 and M.A. in 1981 from Cornell University. Her recent publications on art, culture, and politics include: Trendy Fascism: White Power Music and the Future of Democracy (SUNY 2016), Musical Democracy (SUNY 2006), and a co-edited volume (with Mark Mattern), Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics (SUNY 2013).

 Federiga Bindi is a Senior Fellow at CTR at SAIS-JHU, in addition to holding the Dan German Distinguished Visiting Chair at AppState, NC and the Jean Monnet Chair at UniRome Tor Vergata. Among her publications: The Foreign Policy of the EU ; The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem?Italy and the EU .