The urban arts festival Hip Hop You Don’t Stop (HHYDS), organized by Elementality and Prévention CDN-NDG, took place in several different locations in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (CDN-NDG)’s borough on September 21st – 25th. Each day had a different event and I was able to participate in three of them.
Photography – Opening event
The photography exhibit on Septembre 21st opened the festival. This event, coordinated by Mariel Rosenblüth, gathered diverse artists and photographers currently based in Montreal, who were present to an open exchange with the public about their artwork. We learned about their background as well as their motivation and creative process. It was a very enriching evening!
“Queens and Kings” showcase
Fanny, outreach worker at La Voie high school, mobilized around 15 teenagers to participate in the Friday night showcase “Queens and Kings”. Karl and I accompanied them to the show. After a pizza supper, we went to the University of Montreal’s Centre d’essai, where the event took place.While waiting for the show to start, we managed to organize a short visit of CISM 89,3, the student radio station’s recording studios, located in the same building. we also played some social games.
When the show started, we saw many awesome performances, Some of which were W.O.R.D., Hustle (Bboyizm), Speech and End of the Weak. Speech is a musical project for youth that has been carried in CDN-NDG. The self-managed collective performed original pieces from its brand new album, of which all songs were completely written, composed and performed by the youth.
Following the very impressive performances from End of the Weak’s artists, they included audience members by inviting them to jump into an MC anti-battle on stage. As the artists previously did, the participants had two minutes to rap about random things picked from a bag. An eleven year-old boy from our group and another teenage girl tried it out and both of them impressed the audience as well as the artists with their performance! The show ended in a huge cypher in which many teens participated. In all, it was a very positive evening which enabled youth to express themselves, discover musical passion, and even musical talent.
Elementakiza was the final HHYDS festival event which included several activities: DJs, live bands, murals on trucks, documentary screening, barber battle, dance workshops, etc. I only saw bits and pieces of all these activities because, with the help of very proactive volunteers from La Voie high school, we managed the painting activity with kids. We worked like little bees until nightfall to allow our young (and not so young!) artists create their masterpiece(s). I don’t even know how my HHYDS hoodie stayed white!!! A big thank you to the volunteers who were with me at the painting kiosk in the afternoon: I was impressed by your efficiency and I had a lot of fun!
But these volunteers at the painting kiosk were not the only ones who made Elementakiza a success: it was near 30 volunteers, almost all from La Voie high school, who lended us a strong hand. A HUGE thank you to all of you! Your work undoubtedly contributed in making this event a major success.
Julie – Hypersexualization Prevention program