Rhythms, rebels and resistance: Omar Offendum on youth politics in the Middle East

When

6.00pm–7.30pm

28 October 2015

Where

Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney

Topics

Culture

Hip-Hop is a diverse and participatory global subculture with vibrant and diverse communities across the Arab and Muslim world. It celebrates street culture and youth resistance and appeals to minoritised and stigmatised people from all parts of the world, but also attracts criticism from moral and political conservatives who see it as encouraging civil disobedience, gangs and street violence.

Syrian-American rapper Omar Offendum discussed the intersection of Middle Eastern politics and hip hop today at this event. Offendum uses ‘conscious rap’ or ‘political hip-hop’ as a vehicle for supporting progressive social and cultural movements around the world and particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia. Widely admired on the international hip hop scene, he has made significant contributions to social justice, political transformation and inter-cultural dialogue.

Hosted by Dr Omid Tofighian, ARC Research Assistant in the Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney, Omar Offendum discussed some of the key moments in the development of political hip-hop in the Arab and Muslim world, and analysed how they are connected to recent revolutions and uprisings.

Whilst in Sydney, Offendum also performed at Hermann's Bar at the University of Sydney on 30 October.

Part of the series "A Continuing Spring: Arab and Australian views on social justice, equal economic development and cultures of freedom" supported by the Commonwealth through the Council for Australian - Arab Relations which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Co-presented with the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures, School of Languages and Cultures, the Religion State and Society Network and the US Studies Centre in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.