RAW Académie Session 3

Application deadline: July 2nd, 2017
Session dates: October 23rd – December 12, 2017
Location: Dakar

What is RAW Académie?

RAW Académie is an experiential residential study programme for the research and study of artistic and curatorial practice and thought. The programme takes place over 8 weeks in Dakar. It is dedicated to a lively reflection on artistic research, curatorial practice and critical writing. The academy is held during two distinct sessions per year; October–December and April–June. Each session is directed by a Lead Faculty who has displayed an off-the-beaten-track practice in regard to art, curating and art criticism. Session 3 will be led by Journal Rappé, a satirical televised news show created by Senegalese rappers Xuman and Keyti. It will take place from the 23rd October to the 15th December 2017.

Session 3: The Five Elements; Hip hop, aesthetics and politics directed by the Journal Rappé Over the last four decades hip hop has served as a radical force for repositioning black culture to the centre of the popular imaginary, first in the United States and then across the globe. Political in its affirmation of an identity counter to the mainstream, in its use of musical styles at once technologically advanced and derived from non-Western sources, in the content and form of its lyrics, hip hop is a site of poetic appropriation of alternative ways of life. DJ Afrika Bambaataa defined the genre as coming to life through at first four central elements – in his eyes rap, DJing, b-boying and graffiti – and soon a fifth; knowledge.

The Five Elements will strive to explore hip hop as artistic practice, through its imaginary, its history, and its different artistic evolutions, as well as studying how this practice continues to mould global pop culture, something hip hop has managed to do more than any other genre. We will also venture an analysis of its influence and political efficiency in creating real change for the lives of the communities from which it was born and whom it claims to represent. We will attempt to understand how and why regions such as Africa and Latin America are on creative trajectories that are so completely different to those that are dominant in the U.S. We will think equally about hip hop’s strategies and methodologies, in Africa and further afield, that position themselves between aesthetics and politics and which, through their constructivist tendencies, propose lessons for those looking to create new worlds, be it in the studio, in the street, or on the stage.

For eight weeks we will engage with conferences, films, music, poetry, workshops, lectures and will also visit sites of hip hop in Senegal. And because we are convinced that hip hop cannot be understood in isolation from its performative energy, we will also stage and attend a number of live hip hop shows. The radical potential of hip hop and the practices which find their roots in the genre will be explored with eminent rapper Didier Awadi (Positive Black Soul), artists Jon Boogz and Blitz the Ambassador, urban culture producer Amadou Fall Bâ, the political movement born from the world of hip hop Y’En A Marre, artist and author Fatou Kandé Senghor, filmmaker and author Olivier Cachin, writer Jeff Chang and art critic Ibrahima Wane.

How to apply ?

RAW Académie is an experimental pedagogical programme. Ideal fellows are young graduates from art schools, humanities and curatorial programmes. The application process is online only. A maximum of 10 fellows are selected for each session. The application process opens on the 31st May and ends on the 2nd July 2017. Only the first 75 applications will be considered for review. The selection committee for Session 3 includes Keyti and Xuman (co-founders of Journal Rappé), Lead Faculty Session 3 RAW Académie, Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director RAW Material Company, and Eva Barois De Caevel, Assistant Curator & Coordinator of RAW Académie. Selected applicants will receive an email and will be invited for an online interview with the selection committee.

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