The Popular Participation Movement, a campus club at Vancouver Island University, is hosting the 5th annual Hip-Hop for Peace from 2 to 5 pm on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at downtown Nanaimo’s Diana Krall Plaza, next to the downtown library on Commercial Street. This event is in conjunction with anti-war/peace rallies and marches taking place around the world this weekend which will mark seven years of war and occupation in Iraq led by the United States.
The concept of using hip-hop as a means of anti-war protest and organization for the PPM came from coordinator Simon Schachner‘s experience at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2005. The festival featured the world’s first ever International Hip-Hop Summit where Schachner had the opportunity to meet hip-hop artists and activists from around the world to discuss ways in which to harness the ever-growing social and political force that hip-hop culture has become.
“Hip-hop often gets the reputation of being misogynistic, aggressive, and a champion of material excess but that is just one branch of the culture (usually the commercial one). There is so much more out there and in fact the art form is rife with social and political commentary – everything from indigenous struggles, cultural identity and history to world issues, politics and class analysis.” said Schachner. “This event is an opportunity for the community to get together to express their opposition to the war as well as to see this very positive side of hip-hop.”
The line up includes Ndidi Cascade (Vancouver), Zenobia Salik (Vancouver), djchucknorris (Nanaimo), Pocket Kings (Victoria), and Divine Element (Victoria). People of all ages are encouraged to attend. Past years have seen dance competition participants range in age from 4 years to 85! Admission is free.