Training Course

Hip-Hop For Social Cohesion and Active Citizenship

Training Course

United Kingdom, 8th - 15th June 2013 (Past)

This project brought 30 participants from Austria, France, Poland, Romania and UK and looked at the role that Hip-Hop has played in supporting young people’s active citizenship for positive change while creating stronger ties of social cohesion amongst its communities.

Hip-Hop For Social Cohesion and Active Citizenship

Funded by: The Youth In Action Programme, administered by the British Council
Training delivered and hosted by Act Global

This training course enabled participants to discuss and learn how Hip Hop can be used as a tool to bring about social change and support young people in education. During the course participants listened to and delivered a number of lectures about this topic such as, Gender and Hip Hop, Rapping as a social therapy, and about how through creating beats you are also leaning transferable technical skills that can be used in life.

During the week, participants also had a live Skype with Mr Moises Lopez, Foundation of Hip Hop Education based at the University of New York. This conversation allowed participants to ask Mr Lopez how the foundation has been working to educate young people through Hip Hop. This discussion inspired participants to see that there is a wider network of Hip Hop educators and that with University link NYU behind them this give the pedagogical approach higher credibility.

However, the main focus of the course was working towards putting on an old school Block Party for the residents of Holton Flats, a housing estate based in the town of Hastings in the south east coast of England. Throughout the week, participants prepared workshops deliver to residents giving them a chance to try out some of the elements of Hip Hop for them selves. Residents of the community engaged in workshops that included Rap writing, beat making, Graffiti painting and a Hip Hop dance workshop. Participants of the course also prepared performances for the local residents. On the day of the Block Party, the local community really participated and enjoyed the event. One resident tweeted

   “You guys were brilliant in Hastings today, really enjoyed it , love how got the whole community together”

Steve Rockett, Local Resident

Also, as part of the course, participants were taken for the day to London, during this trip they started the morning at Aculco radio based in Brixton where they meet with Mr Juan Toledo. Mr Toledo worked with participants to create 3 mini radio shows on the topic of Hip Hop.
Later in the day, participants went to meet with a London-based Theatre company called Zoo Nation who allowed participants to have some talk about their production and how they got started, as well as a private dance workshop. After the lesson, the group went for a local meal before going to watch the Zoo Nation’s musical Performance at the Peacock theatre called “Some Like it Hip Hop”.

The project engaged thirty participants from five countries across Europe, which were France, Austria, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom. From each country we had experts in the field of Hip Hop Dance, Rapping, DJing and Beat making as well as Graffiti Artists. To create the project, we worked with partner organisations that were responsible for the recruitment in their own country.

Our partners were:

Ais Jugendservice –  Austria

Fédération de Paris de la Ligue de l’Enseignement – France

Association B-Right Media – Romania

Unia Izerska – Poland

Audio Active – UK

Money, Power, Respect – UK

Xtrax Young People Centre – UK

The talent and ability of our participants was amazing. Many of them are strongly involved in Industry of Hip Hop creating music, delivering performances or creating wider networks. Throughout the course participants bonded very strongly, making commitments to work together, create more event, music and support a wider network of Hip Hop artists across Europe.

Participants gave great feedback about the course and highlighted that they would be keen to be involved in a wider network that put on more projects. A Facebook and Dropbox account was created to share resources, this has been very actively used with participants sharing blog, photos, video and articles related to this topic.

“The course, for me is inspirational as well as educational. I have been able to network with like-minded people from across the globe and the chance to share any similarities and differences! It’s the beginning of something that’s going to be huge!”

Rik Lewis (Money Power Respect)  

As well as creating workshops and performances for the Block Party participants also recorded a track.

During their time in Hastings, the group also gained great coverage in the Local Newspaper (The Hastings Observer) with 3 different news stories.

Many of the group also went on to join another Hip Hop project in Austria called “ID-Reloaded”.

Act Global has made firm commitments to the topic of Hip Hop and plan to support a Global Network to make more events like this possible. We are also developing our links with Hip Hop Education based at NYU and keen to make further collaborations.

For more photos, please check out our Facebook project album.

If you are interested in participating or sponsoring our events, please email or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get updates on our future projects.

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