Special Community Cinema Screening in Chicago: ESTILO HIP HOP

Posted on August 31, 2009

Over the weekend, Community Cinema hosted a special screening in Chicago of the Global Voices documentary ESTILO HIP HOP, which chronicles the lives of three hip hop enthusiasts from Brazil, Chile and Cuba who firmly believe that hip hop can change the world. This screening was presented by WTTW, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Southwest Community Coalition. Get the full report below from Regional Outreach Coordinator Naomi Walker:

In the audience of ESTILO HIP HOP were the young leaders from the K.I. Eco Center, a youth development program that runs the Community Cinema program in Indianapolis, IN. I had the privilege to attend their screening of TULIA, TEXAS last January and was very impressed and inspired by the event. To see young people, ranging in age from ten to 18 years old, leading adults in a post-screening discussion showed how documentary film can be used as a tool for cross-generational engagement. It was so cool that they were able to take the time to come up to Chicago for this event. 

The host for the afternoon was Super InLight, movement/teaching artists, and the choreographer and director of the Stick & Move Dance crew. Super InLight (literally) kicked off the proceedings with a birthday tribute to the dance innovations of Michael Jackson, acknowledging the influence that hip hop dance moves like pop lock had on Jackson and vice versa. Presenters DJ Man-O-Wax, MC D Nick the Microphone Misfit, B-Boy Brave Monk and Graf Artist Lavie Raven, co-founder of the University of Hip Hop, represented the five elements of hip hop. The fifth element of hip hop––knowledge––was represented by all the presenters, who shared their stories and insights on what inspires them and what they tell the young people they teach (yes, they are ALL teachers by day!).


Several of the young people from K.I. Eco Center asked some deep questions during the discussion, such as: “What do you tell the young people you teach about hip hop?” and “What in the film inspired you personally?” Graf Artist Lavie Raven related the ideal that “hip hop” stands for “healthy independent people helping other people.” D Nick told of an epiphany he had in his career as a teaching artist that he needed to bring hip hop into his professional life, and not keep the two so separate and now his students refer to him by his MC name D Nick. 

The guests were also asked to recommend books for the young people in attendance. Brave Monk recommended The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee. D Nick was inspired by reading Pryor Convictions And Other Life Sentences by Richard Pryor. Raven suggested the Autobiography of Malcolm X and Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho. And Super InLight suggested From the Browder File: 22 Essays on the African American Experience by Anthony Browder I would like to give special thanks to Harishi Patel from Southwest Community Coalition for being so responsive to the idea and making it happen. Special thanks to Paulette Fair and Imhotep Adisa from the Kheprw Institute for arranging the trip! Also thanks to Loira Limbal and Vee Bravo for letting us screen their inspiring film. 

-Naomi Walker Regional Outreach Coordinator


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