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Slingshot Hip Hop – May 12, 2010

Palestinian Hip Hop group DAM, which has spawned a cult following and a small army of imitators, is featured in the May 12 Awareness Film Night screening of “Slingshot Hip Hop”. Freedom of expression and the powers of suppression meet head-on in this gritty and infectious documentary that weaves together the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and sanction-created poverty. From internal checkpoints to separation walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them.

We follow DAM, the first ever Palestinian Hip Hop group from their early awkward studio recordings to fiery sold-out shows over the world. We meet Mahmoud Shalalie, an irreverent rapper from Akka, along with R & B singer Abeer and rap duo Arapeyat, rising female artists determined to express themselves, and PR (Palestinian Raperz), trapped in Gaza, one of the most heavily populated places on Earth.

The movie shows scenes of these young rappers facing crushing poverty, daily border checkpoints and other obstacles. The filmmaker, Jackie Reem Salloum, said: “When I visit my family in the West Bank, the situation just gets worse and worse. But these rappers give me hope”. She noted that the rap groups often bring positive messages to youths encouraging them to express their anger through rhymes, not violence. “It’s having a huge effect on the new generation.” (

“Slingshot Hip Hop” will be shown in the Edward Milne Community School theatre at 7 p.m.. Bring your younger generation family and friends. Admission is by donation.


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