Venezuela: The Hip Hop Movement Gets Organized

Over the 17, 18 and 19 of December the first conference of activists and militants of the Venezuelan Hip Hop movement was held. Convened and organized by the Hip Hop Revolution collective and with the participation of activists from over 8 states from the west of the country, the [congress] discussed and debated the creation of urban art schools, a joint project of the HHR Collective and the Ministry of Communes.

The hip-hop movement congress held in December in Merida, Venezuela (HHR)

For three days at the headquarters of INCES [the National Institute of Socialist Education and Training] in La Azulita, Merida state, workshops were held on political education, music production, screening of documentaries (provided by the National Film Archive), group discussions and the creation of the definitive curriculum of the urban art schools, whose classes began over this period.

During the meeting a joint statement was drafted which we reproduce below:  

Hip Hop is one expression of the creative power of the people. It is a culture that originally emerged from conditions of poverty, in the most neglected, marginalized and oppressed sectors of society. We view ourselves as a resistance movement that confronts capitalism and its system of domination. We view ourselves as the successors of the historical class struggle that led our people to their first nation-wide rebellion in 1814, the first act of genuine rebellion of an insurgent people who spilled into the streets to destroy the society that screws us.

As a tiny part of the people, we do not view our movement as a form of isolated struggle, we recognize our origins and we join with the collective construction of our neighborhoods and communities for a fully just society.

We realize that the struggle of our movement begins within ourselves; we must try to destroy our individualities and understand that alone no progress is possible. Our culture is collective from its roots, for this reason we look beyond the four elements of our movement, we view our cultural creation as an act of freedom that can neither be bought nor sold, traded nor negotiated; it is simply for living and building.

Part of the commitment of our movement is to achieve horizontal organization; we rule out competition between partners and brothers, the proposal is to be inclusive, to convey the message to the people, our people.

We base our knowledge on experience and invention, producing and generating spaces of thought and discussion, pointing inward toward the internal, inviting our people to investigate, discuss, activate and collectivize, making art, inclusive art, that is born of the people, that is not seen in museums, that they still do not want to show, the art of collectively creating with words, painting, the body, sounds and the spirit.

We believe in collective discussion and construction, because “knowledge” and the so-called “intellectuals” and “middle class thinking” have screwed over the world. We choose and identify with the “uneducated” people, with their unwritten words, with their unstudied knowledge, with their unanswered questions, with their hunger without food, their homes without a home.

We are committed to the transfer of knowledge and action to the older and younger generations. Our shared project of the popular urban art school is an option we propose as a grain of sand towards new thinking and the construction of a new society, where neither race nor gender nor religion, nor training are separated, but are amalgamated into one piece, in one territory and in permanent construction.

Committed and activated,
Epatu, Activate.

Translated by Kiraz Janicke for Venezuelanalysis.com