LONDON (VIP-NEWS) — Hip hop lovers throughout Europe can look forward to three years of quality music, debate and entertainment after it was announced that the European Music Office has been granted nearly 1 million euro in funding to run the urban cultural forum ‘Diversidad’ for the second time.
The funding is being provided by the European Commission in conjunction with their Cultural Programme. The ‘Diversidad’ project, which brings together rap and hip hop artists, culture professionals, journalists and sociologists from all over Europe, took place in cities across the continent last year as part of The year of Intercultural Dialogue culminating in the highlight of the ‘Diversidad’ festival– a 3-day event in Vienna showcasing European talent in various urban cultural genres including deejaying, spray painting and audiovisual artwork.
Following on from the success of last years music single which was made available for free download online and featured on it 10 different languages, this year will see the release of an entire ‘Diversidad’ album which will include musical and linguistic contributions from artists throughout Europe. The popularity of last year’s musical creation, which received over 400,000 views on various internet sites, paves the way for what will be a much sought after album.
“We need to make sure that the people in Europe are talking to each other,” said Vladmir Sucha, Head of the Cultural Department at the European Commission in reference to last year’s success. “We need to make sure they are understanding each other, are working with each other, are living together, in peace and in mutual understanding. Even by playing football or doing rap you can be recognized, you can find yourself; you can find your way. We are giving this instrument of sport, instruments of ar t, for people to become integral parts of society.”
The main aim of the project is to raise awareness of an often underrepresented side of European culture. Urban culture has permeated popular culture, transcended ethnic boundaries and hence become a potentially important unifier of diverse populations. ‘Diversidad’, being the first of its kind, has been credited with pushing out the boundaries of urban cultural development within the EU and was the first project on the European scale to highlight the talents and richness of European urban culture.
One of last year’s participating artists was Spanish based rapper Porta who said:
“Diversity unites us through rap music for example. Even if you’re from another country, we can feel exactly the same thing. We are rapping because we have something to express. Diversity in the public is perfect for us to learn from one another”.
The organizers were overwhelmed by the success of last year’s flagship event in Vienna with the concerts completely selling out with 5000 people attending there and thousands more enjoying the sister events in Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Lyon, Berlin and Paris throughout the year. Thanks to the achievements of ‘Diversidad 2008’, EMO will organize an abundance of cultural events for the forthcoming project. Aside from the collaborative album, an online forum will be established featuring ‘Diversidad’ events, a blog on culture in Europe and a database of professional contacts for cultural operators. As with last year, several cities (Berlin, Madrid, Arezzo, Stockholm) will host concerts with local artists inviting foreign artists on stage to perform together. It is also planned to assemble a group of the performing artists who will go to Europe’s main summer festivals to represent the project together in performing with the ‘Diversidad’ repertoire.
The success of the forum last year and the success of the th ree years to come are also highly dependent on the work and innovation provided by the co-organizers of ‘Diversidad’ who are: Diversites, Border Blaster, Fondazione Arezzo Wave Italia, HipHop Connection, Kulturarena Veranstaltungs, Buma Cultuur and Boa Events/Cultura Urbana.
The success and power of the event is summed up by one of the recording artists on last year’s single Akhenaton:
“Our music is sharing, and a project like this one is made of sharing”