I just got an email this morning filled with good news for those that are paying attention to the situation in Gaza right now and want to learn more. Except, naturally, there's a musical twist.
Independent filmmaker, Jackie Reem Salloum -- who I used to know briefly back in Michigan -- will be showcasing her beloved Slingshot Hip-hop, documentary next Saturday night on the University of Washington campus. As far as I can tell, this is the Seattle debut of the film which tells the story of aspiring Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank, and inside Israel. Salloum spent several years traveling back and forth working on the documentary, and she's done some good organizing work around it. Last year, it was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.
All you need to know about the film is in the powerful trailer above. It's five minutes long but gives you a good glimpse of how young Palestinians are using hip-hop to not only make their voices heard, but also to break down the walls of oppression and injustice that they face everyday. A big part of me is also wondering if any of the youth from this film were killed over the past 3 weeks in Gaza!
Thankfully, Salloum will be on hand to answer that question for us and she's a very cool lady. Apparently, the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) are also responsible for helping this showcase happen. The screening takes place next Saturday, January 31, at the University of Washington campus from 7pm-10pm. Tickets are $12, $10 for students, and the proceeds are benefiting those in Gaza.