This month – from September 21st to 25th – is going down the 11th edition of our urban arts festival, Hip Hop You Don’t Stop, a crime prevention program through art co-presented with Elementality. Yes, you read it right, we propose this year 5 DAYS of FREE activities : a photo exhibition, a conference night around the theme ‘’Radio and Hip Hop’’, an indoor show putting forward the collaboration between men and women, a great Graffiti Jam and Elementakiza : the main outdoor event.

 

The man who is taking care of putting all this together is Emilio Orellana-Côté (Elementality), who already has been working on organising the festival since a couple of years now, but who is coordinating it almost all alone for the first time this year. We had the pleasure to ask him a couple of questions related to his vision of this amazing community project.

 Emilio

Prevention CDN-NDG :

HHYDS 2016: an 11th edition. On your side, the 1st one as the chief coordinator. How is your experience from now on?!

 

Emilio :

I gotta say it, it’s a really enriching and selfdiscovering experience. I have met many different people, from different backgrounds, different work areas, but we’re able to gather them when it comes to creativity, youth and culture. It is fascinating to see the process and the result when bridges are beeing built.

 

This year, we have focused in structuring the team behind the festival and that brings it to another level. Much more time and space for debate, exchange, sharing ideas and potential content. This also involves alot of compromise and responsability towards the project. The feeling of working in a team is uncomparable, mostly when you enter the last months of organization.

 

 

Prevention CDN-NDG :

Can you talk a bit about your new collaborator, Felipe?

 

Emilio :

Felipe is like a big brother. He has inspired me for a long while now with his implication with the youth in Côte-des-Neiges, and other places too, like Havre-Saint-Pierre, in the North. He lives for that hype of Hip Hop culture, that need to gather, to share, to listen, and to build. He has a long experience in the streetdance scene (B-Boying) and has learnt from the mentor of the mentors, DKC Freeze, pionneer bboy that has been activating the breakdance scene in Quebec since the 80’s.

 

Felipe brings a new element to HipHopYouDon’tStop. He develops the streetdance programming at his best and makes sure to innovate while respecting the roots, the essence and the people who build a road before us.

 

He is also supporting and taking charge of many internal aspects of the Festival like community partnerships, grants application, sponsor campaigns and more.

 

 

Prevention CDN-NDG :

What are the new things you wanted to propose for 2016?

 

Emilio :

For 2016, we wanted to include more the youth, and people, of the borough in the process of production and organisation. The harmony between the community network and the striclty culture network isn’t always obvious. We want to put up a festival that will interest and inspire youth from Côte-des-Neiges/NDG, but also culture lovers, Hip Hop fans and citizens from Montreal who believe change is possible through art, through culture, and through collaboration.

 

This year, our programming extends to five days in order to show a glimpse of the work of those who live for broadcasting, promoting, documenting and sharing what local artists have express.

 

Also, we are focusing a lot more on developing workshops and on interaction between the public and the artists.

 

Prevention CDN-NDG :

Why this festival is so important for you? And for the neighborhood?

 

Emilio :

It is important for me because Hip Hop culture is now omnipresent through rap music mostly, trap and other subgenres, and expresses values that go against what Hip Hop culture was created for. I feel the need to remind the general public, because Hip Hop heads know, that Hip Hop culture emerged looking for a sense of community, of collaborative creation, of struggle, of respect, and of resistance in a era that human rights were just being discussed about.

 

We realize that the same inequities, authority abuse and discrimination happen today, and I believe Hip Hop culture, as a root cultural movement, provides essential elements to fight it. That same culture has grown, developped, matured, and now involves alot more than just rappers, graffiti writers, djs and breakdancers. Beatmakers, designers, cooks, radio hosts, journalists, sports people, musicians, social workers, and more, can feel part of that culture when they gather and recognize and valorize the crossroads.

 

I think the neiborhood benefits from this Festival because people that are neighbors, that see each other in the streets, actually get to work together and build something for their local environment. The sense of empowerment is clear and provides amazing uncalculatable results. People also realize that listening before judging can bring you to discover amazingly talented young artists.

 

Those are all elements we believe are inserted in a constant process. Every year, we will work to make them transcend the festival.

 

 

Prevention CDN-NDG :

What are the parts of the programmation you’re more excited about?

Emilio :

Everything. Everyday of the festival is a unique experience. All have elements to be excited about.
As a radio host myself and a lover of bridge building, the discussion panel presented on thursday the 22nd at the Dollar Cinema is something i’m really expecting. We are gathering more than 12 radio hosts and djs, french and english, from various different stations in Montreal, to discuss about their role in the urban culture and Hip Hop culture, in a era of media revolution, amongst other topics of discussion.

 

Elementakiza is always an event I look forward to for the synergy it creates between so much people.

 

 

Prevention CDN-NDG :

Anything else to say about that 11th edition?

 

Emilio :

Hip Hop can be healthy, positive and a solid base for social improvements. Let’s prove it!

 

 

For more information about the festival :

http://preventioncdnndg.org/arts-urbains/hhyds/

 

Follow us :

https://www.facebook.com/hiphopyoudontstopmtl/

#HHYDS2016