Friday, October 3, 2014

Building a New Social Movement: The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan

The Afrikan Hiphop Caravan is organised by a number of collectives – Soundz of the South (South Africa), Uhuru Network/Toyitoyi Artz Kollektive (Zimbabwe), Akoa Mtaa(Tanzania) and Wasanii Mtaani (Kenya) – to allow thousands of young people to experience Hiphop Culture at its’ finest: as an elevating form of expression – a creative and revolutionary, counterforce to all forms of oppression.
The idea of organizing regional Hiphop events and creating a network of like-minded artists,activists and collectives has been raised and discussed in different forms in several circles for a number of years.
This particular initiative – The Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan – has its
roots in conversations amongst political arts collectives and
activists at the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal. In this
meeting, as well as the ones that followed, it was recognized that
there was a strong need for political arts collectives that are
dedicated to Hiphop’s original vision as the voice of the oppressed to
interlink and organise to strengthen the conscious and political
Hiphop movement on the continent.
In fact, for the founding members of the Caravan, Hiphop is an acronym standing for ‘Her Infinite Power Helping Oppressed People’ and, in its essence, is understood as a counterculture that is valued for its potential to build revolutionary consciousness and challenge the values of the ruling class.
Thus, the key aims of the project are: (1) to build a sense of agency
and self-empowerment among politically-conscious, community-based street artists, who often due to challenging socio-economic realities and political repression feel marginalized and isolated; (2) to transcend borders to enable artists, activists and communities to share their skills, resources, organisation and struggle experience, as well as to build a sustainable network amongst them.  In order to (3)to create an alternative platforms for dialogue between activists,artists and communities.
The aim of the shows is to offer a platform to cultural activists who fight against oppression and speak about socially-relevant issues afflicting their communities and therefore often find themselves literally ‘in the underground’. The vision of the Hiphop Conferences is to offer a unique space to scholars, cultural practitioners and civil society activists to debate the state of African Hiphop by exploring a whole range of topics, including Hiphop’s relevance to youth empowerment, identity, and revolution.
The next Afrikan Hiphop Caravan is set for November 2014. The founders hope that the Afrikan Hiphop Caravan continues to grow, that in the process the borders of Africa are transcended by activists and that the Caravan reaches different regions across the globe.
For updates and more information please visit