This year's Special Programme WE ARE HIP HOP delves into different elements of hip hop culture. For hip hop is more than just music: the lifestyle that is borne of and inspired by the music manifests itself in a wide range of fields and takes on various creative forms. As well as shedding light on the music and its lyrics, the six selected short and long films focus on street art and dance in particular.
In the short portrait "Boombox Collection: Boots Riley" the rapper and frontman of hip hop act "The Coup" talks about his music and the political messages it contains. "This Is What It Is" by French filmmaker Léa Rinaldi also provides insights into the political aspects of the musical genre: she spends time with Cuban hip hop group Los Aldeanos. The duo constantly come up against difficulties as their struggle for freedom of speech and artistic autonomy is made next to impossible in Cuba. On their first tour through the USA and South America they are confronted with the extent of their fame, of which they had previously had no idea. The contrast between the Cuban underground scene and the big festival stages could hardly be bigger.
MissMe: The Artful Vandal (2015); Director: Mohammad Gorjestani The disobedience of hip hop culture makes itself felt on the streets in the form of art: "Street Art. The Ephemeral Rebellion" explores the provocative, political and frequently funny artistic form of street art, which is particularly prevalent in big cities. Anne Brüger and Benjamin Cantu follow artists from Berlin, New York, Paris and Moscow as they go about their work. While Brad Downey confounds passers-by in Berlin with his "Spontaneous Sculptures", Princess Hijab paints hijabs and burqas over the half-naked bodies displayed on advertising billboards in Paris. In "MissMe: The Artful Vandal", Mohammad Gorjestani shows the street artist MissMe carrying out her mission on the streets of Montreal. She too has declared war on society's view of women with her large- and small-format posters.
Martha & Niki (2015); Director: Tora Mkandawire Mårtens
In "Martha & Niki" Tora Mkandawire Mårtens (Golden Dove Award 2012 for “Colombianos”) tells the story of Swedish street-style dancers Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos, who successfully navigate their way through the male-dominated street dance scene. Having grown up between different cultures, both started to express themselves through dance at an early age. This documentary follows them on their quest to discover themselves and uncover their respective Ugandan and Ethiopian roots.
The special programme is suitable for audiences over 13 years of age and was curated by Kim Busch, DOK Leipzig Programme Coordinator.