After months of storyboarding, filming and editing, hip hop musicians from the Medellin neighborhood of Moravia on Friday publicly screened videos that for them represent ideas of local identity and collective memory within their community.
This was the latest project to come out of an ongoing socio-cultural scheme named “Susurros” which takes place in the north of the city. Developed through a collaboration between the Moravia Centre of Cultural Development and Colombian audiovisual artist Alejandro Araque, the scheme is designed to work with the community of Moravia to “recover local histories from those who have acted as their protagonists,” via the means of creative expression.
Working closely with members of Moravia’s hip-hop community over the last two years, Araque has helped thirteen local musicians to produce studio recordings of their own songs and now, in this most recent project, to create accompanying music videos for the recorded tracks – teaching the artists the language and techniques of film production.
“We’ve spent two months making the videos. We did everything ourselves – we thought of ideas, filmed them and spent a long time editing them … We got inspiration from our surroundings, our lives and our experiences,” explained musicians Sergio Ruiz and Henry Pradilla – artist names Pino el Bardo and BBoy Chapu.
During Friday’s event the audience was presented with videos covering a range of themes – some telling stories of anguished romance and others providing stark social commentary on the day-to-day realities faced by the community’s youth, from gun crime to teenage parenthood.
The rappers described the project as “enriching” and expressed their pride in the finished products.
“The screening went well,” said rapper Pradilla after the event, “I was surprised at how many people turned up.”
A manager of the Moravia Center for Cultural Development, Marlin Franko, explained, “This was a project about inclusion. Moravia is an extremely close community and the ‘Susurros’ scheme is about support and collaboration within that community.”
To view the videos made by the hip-hop artists visit alejandroaraque.net, where you can also find out more about the Susurros projects.