Back in August 26th, 2013, the world renowned underground revolutionary artist from LA, Olmeca,touched down in Seattle. He was joined on stage withSista Hailstorm, Julie C, and Poesia (who also did this flyer artwork to the right) for an intimate show. If you missed it, which you probably did due to that fact that this show was largely overlooked by the Hip Hop community in Seattle, there is video below. But my aim in this narrative is not to guilt you for not coming. Actually, I want to share an important back story to how this event even came about. For me, organizers of the event, and for the author of the narrative below, the beginning of this story started on a rainy night down at Westlake at the dawn of Occupy Seattle, traveled across the imaginary lines we call ‘borders’ south to Chiapas, the heart of the Zapatista movement, and back up before landing at South Side Commons in Columbia City. I first met Tabs, aka Isolina, one organizer of this event, on one of those early Occupy nights. Actually, the first time I saw her, she was getting arrested by the SPD for sitting on the ground. She became one of the powerful voices advocating thedecolonization framework for Occupy, and a big supporter of Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize early in the game while we were still battling the doubtful for a voice in the movement. I talk a lot about the importance of art and culture in movement, revolution, change. It is, to me, a fundamental aspect of humanity, and thus just as fundamental in inspiring, galvanizing, and organizing the masses, beyond just “a tool of outreach”. So I guess, take the story below as a case study, and remember, it’s always bigger than Hip Hop. Here it goes, in her words:
“When I reflect back on the journey we took in December 2012, I can hardly believe that was part of my life. It was a shared experience with four other female bodied people. A shared experience, that was potent, eye opening, and an affirmation that our ancestors are with us holding our hands, holding us up, and guiding us through a very tricky world. We are on a path and we do not know where it will take us.