giovedì 17 novembre 2011

Soft Power: I'Hip Hop per ricostruire l'immagine degli USA nel mondo arabo

In 2005, the State Department began sending "hip hop envoys" - rappers, dancers, DJs - to perform and speak in different parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The tours have since covered the broad arc of the Muslim world, with performances taking place in Senegal and Ivory Coast, across North Africa, the Levant and Middle East, and extending to Mongolia, Pakistan and Indonesia. The artists stage performances and hold workshops; those hip hop ambassadors who are Muslims talk to local media about being Muslim in the US. The tours aim not only to exhibit the integration of American Muslims, but also, according to planners, to promote democracy and foster dissent.
L'hip hop, catalizzatore della rabbia giovanile ma anche storica forma di protesta e di richiamo alla partecipazione, ha un ruolo importante nelle periferie (e nelle rivolte) delle capitali del nord Africa (e non solo). Anche per questo, il Dipartimento di Stato USA sta promuovendo la diffusione della cultura hip hop, forma d'espressione nata proprio negli Usa, nell'ambito del più ampio progetto di costruzione del soft power cioè di diffusione degli stili di vita e di pensiero d'oltre-oceano. Non è la prima volta che il Dipartimento di Stato Usa incoraggia processi di questo tipo, nel tentativo di consolidare o costruire l'egemonia del mito americano a colpi di cultura popolare; né è la prima volta che ad essere scelta è una forma espressiva diffusa fra neri, musulmani e membri di altre minoranze americane.

[In the 50's] The jazz tours of the Cold War saw the US government sent integrated bands led by Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman to various parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East to counter Soviet propaganda about American racial practices, and to get people in other countries to identify with "the American way of life". The choice of jazz was not simply due to its international appeal. As historian Penny Von Eschen writes in her pioneering book Satchmo Blows Up the World, in the 1950s, the State Department believed that African-American culture could convey "a sense of shared suffering, as well as the conviction that equality could be gained under the American political system" to people who had suffered European colonialism. Similar thinking underpins the current "hip hop diplomacy" initiatives. The State Department planners who are calling for "the leveraging of hip hop" in US foreign policy emphasise "the importance of Islam to the roots of hip hop in America", and the "pain" and "struggle" that the music expresses.
Ne parla Al Jazeera (Leveraging hip hop in US foreign policy).

In ogni caso,
The choice of hip hop is ironic: The very music blamed for a range of social ills at home - violence, misogyny, consumerism, academic underperformance - is being deployed abroad in the hopes of making the US safer and better-liked.
Come non pensare a Martelly, ex pop star e oggi presidente haitiano?

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