Hip Hop Mosaic – Essi Ojanperä & Linda Söderholm
Feeling – a thing that grows deep within us when we see a person doing something with incredible passion. The feeling that this is something bigger, something that is only theirs and something that in their own community is created collectively. Here and now. Ability, strength, vision, desire for success, exceeding oneself. Living within – just and only – the moment. Breaking is a way of life.
Hanging out at dancers’ training places, following the ciphers and battles, as well as, a bountiful cultural exchange with the West African breakdance scene swept us away and got us thinking about the diversity of hip hop culture and how the elements of hip hop are accessible for everyone equally. The hip hop community does not look at race or the limits of citizenship and its doors are open to everyone regardless of age or gender.
We feel privileged to be able to observe these people, who live within the hip hop culture outside the western norms. There is no singular way of presenting the break dancers of Lomé and Cotonou – who they are and what they do. This is why we want to present a mosaic of the passion, open-mindedness, creativity, colours and dance that we experienced in these two West African cities. Hip hop and in particular break dancing are strongly alive in Benin and Togo, this is proven by the photographs and videos that we present in our exhibition.
The Hip Hop Mosaic application is a digital photo mosaic projected on the gallery wall. The app runs in the web at www.hiphopmosaic.net. Anybody can upload their photos to the app. Every time when somebody uploads his/her photo – anywhere around the world – the photo mosaic updates in the gallery. Consequently, every exhibition guest is going to have a different exhibition experience. We chose to have a part of our exhibition in the internet in order to make our exhibition more accessible – without physical boundaries. So, that also the b-boys from West Africa who cannot participate in the exhibition physically on spot, could still take part in it somehow. The application was programmed by Blaž Hrastnik.