I have no idea who I’m writing for. But I’m sure there is an audience that I’m reading with!
A complementary list of all of the scientific articles, books and other resources used thus far.
Aboriginal Tent Embassy
On 26 January 1972 four Indigenous men set up a beach umbrella on the lawns opposite Parliament House in Canberra. Describing the umbrella as the Aboriginal Embassy…
Teaching China Through Black History
This guide includes blog posts, journal articles, books and book chapters, audio-visual resources, digital archives, and other materials that can be used to teach the confluence of black and Chinese history in the 20th century.
White melancholia: Mourning the loss of “Good old Sweden”
Sweden’s post-war image as frontrunner of egalitarianism and antiracism contains more than a trace of national and racial chauvinism, argue two whiteness studies scholars. As myths of the better Sweden fade, both Right and Left are consumed by “white melancholy”.
Where Would Hip Hop Be Without Colleges and Universities?
Hip hop has always been highly diverse, with roots that extend beyond the streets and into the lecture halls, radio stations, and dormitories of college …
High Stakes for Hip-Hop Studies
I see the addition of hip-hop-themed courses to college curricula as a matter of basic common sense and something to celebrate. And yet teaching it remain…
Dongting (2007-2008) | Hip Hop in China
“Dongting was a research blog on Hip Hop in China. It was a space to share the music and the stories of the Hip Hop artists we encountered, the questions we explored, and the ideas we developed. Dongting is not a chronological history nor is it a comprehensive profile of Hip Hop in China. Rather, it was our personal record of what we found interesting to listen to and pleasing to the ear.”
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Wikipedia
The name “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” is a literal translation of the Chinese idiom “臥虎藏龙” which describes a place or situation that is full of unnoticed masters.
Producers reveal their sound philosophies
Before ‘King of Kowloon’ Hong Kong barely had any graffiti. Look at it now
Tsang Tsou-choi was an eccentric, one-man protest movement and Hong Kong’s original graffiti artist. Dubbed the “King of Kowloon”, Tsang died in July 2007 aged 85, and while much of his protest calligraphy has been erased from the public spaces that were his canvas, he has inspired a new generation.
Lectures & Talks
A growing selection of resourceful lectures, talks and interviews.
A playlist of Hip-Hop Knowledge: Documentaries, Interviews and Talks.
Hip-Hop Samples Collection by Nosbo2007
A collection and neat presentation of iconic Hip-Hop samples.
Gang Gang – World Wide
16 music videos from 16 different countries across the world, from various artists rapping in their own language going “Gang Gang”.
Chinese Hip-Hop Goes Mainstream – Midem 2019
By 2017, hip-hop had been bubbling away on the underground level for about two decades. Yet that summer, it went mainstream almost overnight, thanks to…
Bass Culture UK | Vimeo
An exploration of the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture.
The future of music happened decades ago
Bass Culture UK | Podcast
Bass Culture UK is the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster, an academic research project exploring the impact of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music on British culture.
70s Psych Rock from Zambia
Wǒ Men Podcast: The Unsung Heroes of International Media’s China Coverage
Chinese news assistants do vital work at great personal risk. This is their story.
We Insist: A Century Of Black Music Against State Violence
These songs take on some of the ugliest stories in our history and reflect the commitment of Black musicians to telling the truth of how Black people have been wronged, and survived, and fought back.
Archiving is a priority and it happens in real-time in DIY Cultural Diplomacy. The purpose of this is not only to display traces of thoughts and motives behind certain decisions. Archiving as such – collecting and curating texts, videos, images and sounds – allows continuity between different narratives and occasions across space and time. Why is this important? – you might ask. Well, there is an appreciation for continuity in Hip Hop, for example via the art of sampling and knowledge of self. For me personally, it is important because an uninformed (probably white) gaze on this project will try to render it as something exceptional (good or bad). This archive is a work-in-progress in order to show the continuity between what this project aspires to do and what others have done before me. One can also mirror this thinking in the scholarship of philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984).
Foucault put much effort into making the point that there is reciprocity between power and knowledge. It is not a philosophical point as much as it is an empirical observation by way of historical content. He spent a lot of time in archives and made the observation that historical records are not just byproducts of the past. History is actively made by a user: writing, recording, photographing, curating and conservation etc. By studying historical records Foucault investigated how ways of thinking and ways of doing things emerged.
The point is that power is crafted through symmetry between ideas and activities across time and space. What is power then? – you might ask. Well, Foucault gave up on that question. So I’m not going to bother. Instead, the important thing is how it works: The archive enables the exercise of power. From here, one can consider the archive to be a metaphor; a concert hall perhaps, or a website.
Arjun Appadurai explains this point in the essay Archive and Aspiration (2003), accessible here. The following quote illustrate his reasoning, which DIY Cultural Diplomacy subscribes to:
Thus, we should begin to see all documentation as intervention, and all archiving as part of some sort of collective project. Rather than being the tomb of the trace, the archive is more frequently the product of the anticipation of collective memory. Thus the archive is itself an aspiration rather than a recollection.Appadurai, 2003, p. 16
DIY Cultural Diplomacy’s multimedia archive is about building capacity to construct symmetries between ways of thinking and doing things, not only novel but willingly anchored to the past as well. If you want to contribute to this growing archive of DIY Cultural Diplomacy, don’t hesitate to get in touch!