Accepted Paper:

Canadian indigenous hip hop practices and productions  

Author:

Claudia Gualtieri (The University of Milan)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses Canadian indigenous urban youth culture and art by focusing on some indigenous hip hop communities and artists, and on the production of artistic objects and cultural practices.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses Canadian indigenous urban youth culture and art by focusing on some indigenous hip hop communities and artists, and on the production of artistic objects and cultural practices. Hip hop will be described as a contemporary strategy that helps to represent indigenous identity, to articulate claims on aboriginal land, to re-appropriate urban space, and to bring to the fore aboriginal youth art. The methodological approach is based on Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Theory. As one reads in Noisey: "Indigenous rappers in Canada reflect on a unique struggle. In a country where the most incarcerated population is aboriginal, these artists reflect on the crisis of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, conflicts around resource extraction on native land, and the protest movement Idle No More, which galvanized aboriginal communities from coast to coast."

Among the case studies, "Beat Nation" will be presented ("Beat Nation. Hip hop as indigenous culture" http://www.beatnation.org/). Beat Nation artists hybridise elements of urban youth culture - graffitis, DJing, MCing, breakdancing - with aboriginal knowledge, reflecting the condition of First Nation people today and producing objects that are both local and cosmopolitan. Like hip hop, other artistic practices, such as Boarder X, which uses skating and skateboarding, body art, and exhibitions, in different ways produce artefacts and practices that express the political voice of indigenous youth in contemporary Canada. Hip hop urban artists and communities speak both to their nation and to the wide world which they reach through the web.

Panel P050
Re-thinking Source Communities: Plural, Urban Indigenous Communities and Cosmopolitan Objects