16 November 2011
US consulate sponsors hip-hop programme
HCM CITY — Three hip-hop performers from the US will conduct training programmes in Ha Noi, Hai Phong, HCM City and Can Tho between May 9 and 22.
Break dancer Brandon “Peace” Albright, rapper Chen Lo and DJ Scan will take part in the programme sponsored by the US Department of State and the US Consulate General in HCM City.
The programme is part of a series of events which the consulate organises to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the people of the US and Viet Nam.
American hip hop is at the centre of a worldwide music and fashion trend that crosses social barriers and cuts across racial lines.
The group will conduct a two-day training and exchange programme (May 17-18) at the Dance School of HCM City for 35 local break dancers, rappers and DJs.
The training will include a brief history of hip hop and hands-on demonstrations of artistic techniques.
After HCM City, the group will travel to Can Tho City to conduct a similar programme on May 20 – 21 at the Can Tho Cultural Centre.
Each American hip-hop envoy has previously participated in US Department of State cultural exchange programmes in other countries.
From March 1-6, the U.S. Embassy sponsored Hip-Hop themed workshops, master classes, and concerts, reaching more than 2,500 Nepali youth.
The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu sponsored three hip hop artists from the Global Block Foundation targeting youth in Pokhara (approximately 200km west of Kathmandu) and the capital Kathmandu from March 1 to 6, 2010. This program was a part of the State Department’s Performing Arts Initiative.
In Pokhara 90 hip-hop enthusiasts attended workshops and more than 1,000 students enjoyed public exhibitions at their school premises. In Kathmandu 320 youth hip-hop enthusiasts attended six different workshops, master classes and lectures with themes ranging from “Origins of Hip-Hop” to “Basic Rhyme/Positive Expression.” In addition, 600 students in Kathmandu enjoyed an interactive public exhibition at their school. The group also participated in a jam session with local musicians in front of 250 music lovers. The Global Block Foundation’s program culminated in a night concert in conjunction with local artists and musicians with 300 audience members.
The participants were principally youth (particularly high school aged students), musicians, educators, rappers, and dancers. Approximately 30% of all participants were female.
Very glad to see Terry White keepin Hip Hop Diplomacy alive wherever he goes. More on this soon…
And, in the great tradition of art imitating life, this point proved true last summer when Shah Rukh Khan, the actor who plays Khan in the film, was
By the end of the 2.5hr film, Khan has also journeyed to a poor village in the deep South and helped save a Black church after a Katrina-esque hurricane, establishing an interesting link between Muslims and African-Americans and setting up the requisite happy ending (a natural law in Bollywood) in which the newly-elected President Obama awards Khan for his heroism and says to him, “Your name is Khan and you are not a terrorist!”. Then everyone in the crowd joins hands to sing “We Shall Overcome” and we all live tolerantly ever after.
But only in the movies. In the real world, President Obama has fallen well short of the promise he made last April, in
Meanwhile, the White House recently announced the
In honor of all the Khans in the US and abroad who are not terrorists, I will withhold my applause until Mr. Obama and his special representatives actually get on the stage and start singing the song they promised us all we would hear. They may not know the exact words yet, but it couldn’t hurt to take a cue from one very hopeful Hindi film and just start humming “We Shall Overcome”.
Here’s a teaser from the official website with a familiar melody…
And here’s the full trailer with English subtitles