In October 2010, Haitian NGO APROSIFA (with the support of ALTERNATIVES) invited the Montreal-based hip hop super group Nomadic Massive to come to Port Au Prince and conduct arts workshops with young aspiring artists living in the neighborhood of Carrefour Feuilles. As an exercise both in empowerment and healing, the week of workshops resulted in a unique and powerful learning experience for both Nomadic Massive and the participants. This short is the 1st of a series of shorts documenting this project, and a model of youth development that should be replicated around the world.
Shot on location in downtown Dakar, Senegal, at the entrance to Marche Sandaga.
A collaboration between Cape Town’s ‘Heal the Hood’ and Black Noise with Nomadic Wax and Urban Artistry from the US. Sponsored by the US State Department. The project consisted of dance and film workshops with youth throughout South Africa. The project came out of the Nomadic Wax produced Cape Town 2 DC exchange held the summer of 2010.
In 2009, Nomadic Wax took a trip to the dusty capitol city of all things moped-related… Oh wait, I meant to say Ouagadougou, the capitol city of the small West African country Burkina Faso. A tiny, but vibrant little city, Ouagadougou immediately captured my imagination. From the scooter traffic jams, to the long history of African Arts (especially Film, see FESPACO), it was truly a pleasure for us to be there. We were screening our film Democracy in Dakar at the Waga Hip Hop Festival, a truly unique annual music event celebrating African Hip Hop at its finest. Not only is Burkina Faso able to bring in some of the best and most innovative acts from around the continent, but the country also boasts one of the best Hip Hop scenes I have seen anywhere. So we made this short little piece, hoping to create some sore of small little window for the rest of the world into this amazing place.
Nomadic Wax’s production team spent some time in Harare, Zimbabwe, in November 2010. Despite the challenges the country has faced over the past decade, this was a relatively stable and peaceful moment in time. That didn’t mean it was easy to film. We were detained once while shooting two new music videos for Zimbabwean spoken word legend Comrade Fatso, and kicked off a rooftop downtown while shooting emcee OutSpoken’s part for a collaboration track/video with DC-Based Zimbabwean hip hop pioneer DoomE Right of Zimbabwe Legit. Despite these hurdles, the arts community of Harare embraced us. The Book Cafe is one of the most exciting and interesting places I have been to anywhere in the world and the arts scene that it has helped to create and support is truly remarkable. Every night, a different young artist is featured. The audience is always made up of all the other local artists, from famous ones like Chiwoniso to up and coming ones like emcee Synik. Our team immediately fell in love with the Zimbabwean hip hop and spoken word scene, with its unofficial headquarters at one of the various wooden tables in the Book Cafe’s restaurant. With a huge freestyle culture, and a unique approach to both bilingualism and English raps, Zimbabwean hip hop has a huge amount of potential. Dancehall has also exploded in popularity in Zimbabwe as whole, influencing other genres, like hip hop, as well. That said, the emcees we did meet were firmly rooted in their own hip hop identities, enthusiastically separating themselves from the ‘pop’ or ‘traditional’ music scenes. We were repeatedly treated to the most interesting and refreshing perspectives on the political situation in Zimbabwe from its local emcees, usually over some boney chicken and greasy fries from Nando’s. One thing is for sure, as the country stabilizes and interaction with the country from outside increases, we are going to see a lot more great and innovative music coming out of Harare, especially from the hip hop scene.
Democracy in Dakar is a groundbreaking documentary film about hip-hop youth and politics in Dakar Senegal.
The film follows rappers, DJs, journalists, professors and people on the street at the time before during and after the controversial 2007 presidential election in Senegal and examines hip-hop’s role on the political process.
Originally shot as a seven part documentary mini-series released via the internet, the documentary bridges the gap between hip-hop activism, video journalism and documentary film and explores the role of youth and musical activism on the political process.
“An event that everyone could relate to regardless of what country they came from or language they spoke” -xxl magazine
“All in all, a perfect day. If anyone could come to this event and still be cynical about whether hip-hop can do its thing on a college campus, which if you think about it is just another space to take over, well they probably don’t have a soul.”–
-jeff chang, cantstopwontstop.com
Japanese emcee Kaigen invites Ceschi to spit on this track.
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