Live Blog 1:
We are here at the 2nd Feminista Hip Hop Encuentro & dialogo in Quito Ecuador. We are accompanied by Ana Gabriel “black mama”,Taki Amaru, Cayetana Saloa “Caye Cayejera” and Jessica “Jeka Libre” and the UW 2018 honors Ecuador study abroad cohort. Black Mama starts us off by sharing the importance of holding this event again and that this is an opportunity for us to see their work and what they are fighting for and the form this works takes place. Taki Amaru adds in by sharing the importance for them to be able to transmit and share their experiences as female rappers is a a way to transmit and use the music as a channel to share their messages, specifically for Taki Amaru the history and present of being a “Runa”.
Following in introductions Cayetana shares how she will be speaking in Spanish because she’s from a place that has been colonized. Cayetana shares how she wishes she could speak and present in the language in her blood. She admires Taki Amaru and her ability to speak in kichwa and both find and know her identity. In answering what brought her to this type of work Cayetana shared how she considered her self as s person who had been undervalued but that she has had the ability to lift herself up through Hip-Hop music. She stated how this is a important moment for feminism, feminism is changing things. There is a awakening happening and she is happy to see the large group of females at the encuentro today. She stated that there is a significance in women coming together and empowering themselves. And that we hold a responsibility, that responsibility being not to forget the social work , the community and what individuals are doing, specifically feminist because it is about changing the logic and oppressive structures. Cayetana also shared that if we are in war she is she is giving her battle through her lyrics.
Here are a few impactful words shared by Black Mama in previous dialogues that resonated with the encuentro today. “Women have been in charge of sharing the culture” & “Being in a community means being able to interchange knowledge”. This encuentro showed how Hip Hop here in Quito is very much political and how both art and music have power. These women show us what inclusive feminism looks like. they raise their voices and open the possibility for these needed dialogue exchanges.
Live Blog #2
Ana Garcia AKA Black Mama begins sharing the struggle female rappers face in receiving what they need to have the means to continue with their work. She shares how many do not think about the artist. How some venues do not want do pay the artist, but rather offer payment through another form. This makes it difficult for females rappers especially because as artist they want to show their art they want to spread their message regardless of the circumstances. However once they achieve a certain level they need to be able to find a way to receive a salary for their work. In order for them to have a industry they need money, thus what women are doing in the Hip-Hop. movement is spreading this same information and holding their own concerts and treating the artist as they should be treated and giving the artist what they deserve, such as good sound and water, the things they need to give a good show. Black Mama also added how women do not make Hip-Hop about feminine or masculine ideals, but they are doing this because “Hip- Hop needs to learn to live in community”. Black mama continued by saying how sadly Hip-Hop is accustomed to a hierarchy of who has the possibility to make it and who does not have the possibility to make it. For those who do not have the means or possibility to make it and are talented it becomes a impossible path. What we need is for artist to be treated respectfully and be given what they need and for the public themselves to realize they deserve it.
To conclude the event all Feminist Rappers shared a few of their themes. Jessica “Jeka Libre” started the group then followed Cayetana Saloa “Caye Cayejera”,Taki Amaru who rapped in both Spanish and Kichwa and Black Mama. The feminist rapped about their rights, exploiting practices, women losing fear and in being in control/command of their own bodies. #furia de la mujer #no solo soy mujer #en mi cuerpo mando yo