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From Brooklyn Beats to Beirut Streets

Saturday, April 30, 2011
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
University of California, Berkeley. Dwinelle bldg Rm 145.

Cal Students for Justice in Palestine presents FROM BROOKLYN BEATS TO BEIRUT STREETS a performance/lecture featuring Omar Offendum, Nizar Wittad, and Mark Gonzales.

Omar Offendum is a Syrian-American hip-hop artist and architect, Mark Gonzales is a poet famous for his words "In a war on terror, maybe testosterone is the real terrorist”, and Nizar Wittad is a Palestinian hip-hop artist and film maker. Working with the Human Writes Project, their performance/lecture is relevant to many themes and causes, such as Hip-Hop / Immigration / Poetry / Film / Foreign Policy

Poet and Educator Mark Gonzales (an Alaskan-born Mexican-American) and hip-hop artists Nizar Watad and Omar Chakaki (hailing from Palestine and Syria, respectively) offer a unique examination of identity, pop culture, and growing up as an ‘other’ in the United States.

Sparked by the attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent worldwide demonization of Arabs and Muslims, Chakaki and Wattan began performing hip-hop and spoken word across the USA in an attempt to counter widespread media bias. They met Mr. Gonzales at an awareness-raising benefit concert, and the three realized that despite vast differences in their upbringings, they were united by a particular world-view, informed by the emerging and rapidly evolving art form known as Hip-Hop.

An energetic, informative and often startling presentation in spoken-word and rhyme, ‘Brooklyn Beats to Beirut Streets’ traces the artists’ development alongside the birth and growth of Hip-Hop, then invites audience members to participate in a discussion of (1) how an art form once considered to exist on the margins of society can grow to become the most popular musical genre amongst youth around the world; (2) what this means to those hip-hoppers who remain on the margins; and (3) what problems and concerns face the rest of society in realizing accepting and ultimately utilizing this shift.
Added to the calendar on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 2:40PM
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