We attended 4 conferences as part of the festival:
Rap and freedom of speech
“La place” hip hop centre, or when the institutions associate themselves with the hip hop culture
Hip hop dance in schools
Book launch and discussion, the birth of French hip hop
Conference about hip hop dance in schools at Institut du Monde Arabe
3 of the 4 conferences we attended were held in the Institut du Monde Arabe, a centre dedicated to the Arabic world. It is also the institution who hosts the hip hop exhibition: “Hip Hop du Bronx aux rues arabes”. Another one took place in “La Gaiete lyrique”, a cultural centre and library in the centre of Paris.
Conference about centres dedicated to hip hop at la Gaiete Lyrique
The conferences were very enlightening, as they gave us the chance to learn a whole lot about French hip hop. Besides, it was an opportunity for us to see the tight relations between the institutions and the hip hop culture. Moreover, we were able to meet some key actors: old school rappers/DJ/graffiti artists, exhibition curator, etc.
Jack Lang, former minister of Culture and president of Institut du Monde Arabe
Sidney and Solo, pioneers of the hip hop movement in France
Finally and most importantly, it put an emphasis on the power of hip hop. It was once again proven that hip hop is a tool for democratisation, pacification, education and empowerment of the minorities such as Black and Arab people. We were touched by some students’ testimonies. One girl told us she used to be a bad student and wanted to drop school. But taking part in the hip hop classes, allowed her not to quit school and to keep motivated. She even made it to the highest dance competition. Now she graduated from high school and wants to go to the university and study arts.
And… We were totally amazed by the students presentations….