Animated Palestinian Hip-Hop Videos

Animated hip-hop

Hip-hop as a musical genre is rooted in the experiences of marginalised communities in the United States. It provided a vehicle to express anger, repression and yearnings for a better life. Although, decades later, money and the mainstreaming of the genre has changed hip-hop, it still remains an expression of protest in many parts of the world.

This series of videos by Lena Merhej and Maher Abu Samra show the combination of simple animations and hip-hop being used for advocacy. Checkpoints, settlements, and the inability of Palestinians to live freely in the West Bank have encouraged artists to seek more creative ways to discuss the issues Palestinians are facing. The videos tackle the occupation of Palestine, and specifically the Apartheid wall, which Israel is building through the West Bank.

Throughout, repetition and simple black and white illustrations are used to reiterate the message simply and effectively. The Arabic language is flexible enough to adapt phrases and words to rhyme, which makes it perfectly suitable for the intricate rhyming schemes of modern hip-hop.

The simple use of graphics create a visualisation that is short and to the point. Catchy lyrics and music are used to draw the viewer into the message. At the end of each video, there is an explicit link to a United Nations resolution, an International Court of Justice decision or to Universal Human Rights, which reiterate the nature of the situation in Palestine.

Links to all the videos:

Year: 2009

Category: Visualisations about conflict in the Arab World