Through the collective power of art, music and dance, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects have been assisting and empowering indigenous youth since 2005, and assisting in creating positive change. Indigenous Hip Hop Projects travel around Australia to conduct workshops in indigenous communities focusing on dance, music, multi media and mural art. Outside of this, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects host performances and workshops at numerous festivals, conferences and events. On April the 8th as part of Viva Youth Festival 2017 at Princes Park in Prahran, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects will be bringing their vision as one of the many events the festival has to offer. We had a chat with Michael Farah, the director of Indigenous Hip Hop Projects about all of the exciting things they do for communities around the country.

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects has been active since 2005 – how has the organisation grown or evolved in that time? 

“We have grown and evolved in many areas, but what stands out is that we started with 4 artists and now we have up to 30 artists from various cultural backgrounds. We have also started making music video projects, and putting a higher production quality to our dance projects.”

How does the organisation work with and encourage young indigenous people to pursue the creative arts? 

“During our workshops we are always challenging youth to step out of their comfort zone, and encouraging them to pursue a career in the arts if it’s their passion. We back this up by offering training, paid work and tours to all of our artists. At the moment, we have a dozen indigenous artists that we provide work for.”

What have the most positive impacts of Indigenous Hip Hop Projects been? 

“In terms of positive impact, we have worked with over 300,000 youth both nationally and internationally, helping to to deliver the message of health through the power of music and dance.”

Indigenous Hip Hop Projects have been heavily involved in mental health campaigns and anti-smoking campaigns – have you seen success from these campaigns, and do you believe these are the most important issues for young people to understand? 

“We have done a variety of campaigns that span across the whole health sector. We have seen great success through engagement with all of our campaigns, whether they be mental health, anti-smoking, trachoma, anti-alcohol or sexual health and so on. We don’t believe that any one issue is more important than another, and we try to draw attention to all issues facing young people. All families and communities are affected by certain issues that need awareness brought to them, and we are attempting to bring that awareness.”

What are you most excited about in relation to partaking in Viva Youth Festival 2017? 

“We are super excited about the festival, as it gives us a chance to give back to the community and bring youth together. The Viva Youth Festival is known for the hype it brings and here at Indigenous Hip Hop Projects, we are all about the hype.”

Catch Indigenous Hip Hop Projects performance and workshop at Viva Youth Festival in Prahran on the 8th of April. Get more info about Indigenous Hip Hop Projects here, and about Viva Youth Festival here.