Fifteen students at Evans River K-12 School recently completed a series of hip hop workshops which explored Indigenous culture, language and the importance of local Indigenous sites.
Facilitated by Lennox Head based non profit organisation One Vision Productions (OVP), the workshops are part of the Federal Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy, and encourage youth to remain engaged in school by being part of innovative educational programs.
The hip hop workshops give youth a voice to express themselves through hip hop music and recording an accompanying film clip.
This is a very empowering process for the students as they learn more about their connection to the land and their cultural identity. With visits from Indigenous elders including Uncle Roy, and Auntie Viv, the film clip was predominantly shot on coastal sites near Evans Head where these Bundjalung elders encouraged and supported the students to connect with their native language and cultural heritage, and provided inspiration for them to incorporate cultural identity into their hip hop song.
The students said “they felt more connected to their indigenous heritage as a result of going onto their land and making a video which includes lyrics in their native language.”
Mark Robertson Director and workshop facilitator from One Vision Productions (OVP) says “The kids really come alive and feel empowered after performing their hip hop film clip as they get to choose what messages they want to send out to the world”
School teachers have said that this program has delivered results – including high levels of motivation and increased engagement across other subjects.
Parents of participants and community members have a chance to see the end product next term when the filmclip is shown at a school assembly.
Written by Zuzee Bain, Volunteer at One Vision Productions.