RAPOLITICS is a nonprofit organization based in Denmark. The organization works to promote the opportunities for young people through creative and constructive focus on urban artistic forms of expression, raptivism (rap + activism), dialogue and democratic awareness within and outside Denmark.
Hip-hop has an enormous cultural power and has been used as an expression of the first of African Americans in the United States and since in many parts of the world. From young people during the Arab Spring to young people in vulnerable residential areas in Denmark. A microphone, a choreography or a brush provides a platform for dialogue as well as a constructive and creative input to engage actively in and embrace the society in which one is a part. Therefore, RAPOLITICS uses hip-hop as a tool for making young people interested in the surrounding community, expressing thoughts and attitudes, and joining communities and project work with other young people. It is a method of strengthening young people’s self-esteem and social commitment, breaking down marginalization and building attitude and empowerment.
RAPOLITICS was formed in 2009 and is today one of the key players in hip-hop and creative activism in Denmark. The organization operates a nationwide network that counts 62 different associations and organizations working with hip hop, youth involvement and community engagement.
RAPOLITICS currently has three main projects:
Hip Hop Hub (H3) is a nationwide network of youth groups and organizations working with hip hop in a broad perspective. It includes the genres: rap, graffiti, street art, breakdance, beatbox, DJs, poetry, spoken word and storytelling. Through the project, young Danish cultural heritage is explored and reinterpreted with hip hop as a tool. The project allows young people to be cultural creators and shows that art and culture can have a voice in the social debate.
RAP:I:STAN brings students in elementary school together with young people with refugee background through rap, spoken word and narrative. The project is a platform for dialogue aimed at raising awareness of the people behind the news and statistics and creating citizenship between young people with different cultural and social backgrounds.
From 2018, RAP:I:STAN will further focus on developing professional and personal skills in young people with refugee background through hip hop, art and culture.
Hip Hop Global (projects outside Denmark) Currently, we are working in Bolivia through the locally-established project HIP HOP UTA. “Uta” means “home” in the original language, Aymara. HIP HOP UTA is an unpowered hip-hop house for marginalized youngsters in El Alto a city in Bolivia. The project engages and supports young people in their local area through hip hop and street art. The ambition is that the house must be sustainable.
Katarina Siig Søderberg, Communication Rapolitics