Rap music as an anchor: a German social project has now reached the suburbs of Catania

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“Ra­p­flek­tion World­wi­de”, a musical and social initiative created by Andreas and Carlos, connects similar realities together with the association “Mu­si­cain­sie­me a Li­bri­no”

Rap music as social tool besides music genre: this is the spirit with which was created “Ra­p­flek­tion World­wi­de”, a project of German origin that has now reached the city of Catania. «A Latin American friend of mine, Carlos Uter­mö­hlen, conceived this project in 2007, involving the small German town Braun­sch­weig at first» said An­dreas Buc­kli­sch, the Italian-German guy who decided to bring Ra­p­flek­tion to Sicily. «Carlos ‒ added Andreas ‒ organized many workshops in Latin America, whereas I thought about involving disadvantaged young people from Catania, my mother’s hometown».

RAP EDUCATION. «The word Rapflektion refers to the noun “reflection”: in fact, rap is a music genre that leads people to think and the purpose shared by me and Carlos is to educate young people to rap culture, by going beyond those monotonous lyrics of commercial rappers based only on drugs and violence, as we prefer to focus on authenticity» explained Andreas. «In Italy this music genre is underestimated due to the prejudice of not being educative. In fact, it’s educative more than ever, because it’s close to young people and because, therefore, they are more likely to learn from a reality that talks about them».

FROM GERMANY WITH LOVE. «When I decided to realize my dream and to involve Catania into Rapflektion international network, ‒ Andreas told us ‒ I read on the Internet that Catania still lacks in social centers and in realities ready to embrace such projects for disadvantaged young people. “Mu­si­cain­sie­me a Li­bri­no” was the only one I found». That’s how the organization of a five-day workshop dedicated to the young people from the orchestra in Catania led by Loredana Caltabiano and other musicians started. It then culminated in the making of a music video: «I didn’t hesitate to contact them and meet Alessandra Toscano, Valentina Caiolo and Loredana Caltabiano, the main representatives of this association, in April. Some months have passed by and somebody may think I stood back, while this time was necessary to arrange all the rest. These young people we involved are not only being educated to rap: at the end of the workshop they are going to record a song of themselves and to make a music video for the Rapflektion YouTube channel». To do all this in a professional way they need many economic resources and Andreas took care of this also. «I put some money from my own pocket, but I did it with my heart. The rest came from the performances by Rapflektion German bands, as our project is funded by public resources and the shows of young people are paid in Germany. Nobody’s ever complained that a part of their pay was donated to the project in Catania, and this proves that Rapflektion is a great international family».

WOMEN’S MUSIC. “Mu­si­cain­sie­me a Li­bri­no” is a young orchestra whose members have never approached rap music before. Nevertheless, their response has been more than positive, according to Andreas’ words: «A girl told me she found her talent thanks to us. She had never thought about being able to compose lyrics in a week before starting this experience. Young people that joined the initiative, in general, have bond with each other even more, by making a real group that I will follow from afar too and entrust to a friend from Catania. The best thing is that many participants are girls, although rap is still seen as a male genre in Italy: women are far more emotional than men and they have much to say. Everybody must do what they want to do». Recording a song and making a music video are the final part of the workshop, but the project will continue even after that, as Andreas is thinking of realizing a cultural exchange between young people from Catania and Germany.

Translated by Daniela Marsala

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