-A part of URBAN INDIGENOUS TAKEOVER –
Forty years after hip-hop was born in the South Bronx, it’s being re-imagined in fresh ways by young Indigenous artists of the North— from Athabascan villages in Alaska to the capital city of Greenland to reindeer-herding towns in northern Finland.
WE UP: Indigenous Hip-Hop of the Circumpolar North is a feature-length documentary film produced by the Anchorage Museum. It profiles the rising stars of Northern Indigenous hip-hop while exploring themes in their work which connect them across vast distances, such as: the challenges of decolonization, pride in self and traditional culture, deconstructing stereotypes, the celebration of endangered Native languages, and spiritual connections to Northern homelands.
Filming began in summer 2017 in Anchorage and continued through summer 2018 on location in Fairbanks and Dot Lake, Alaska; Nuuk, Greenland; and points throughout Sápmi, the homeland of the Sámi people, spanning the far northern reaches of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia.
The artists starring in WE UP represent all four “core elements” of hip-hop: MCing (rapping); breakdancing; turntablism (DJing); and graffiti art. The film documents the Circumpolar Hip-Hop Collab, a groundbreaking mainstage group performance at the 2018 Riddu, Riđđu Indigenous peoples’ festival in Olmmáivággi, Norway, that showcased Northern indigenous hip-hop artists from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Finland, and western Russia.
In collaboration with Riddu Riđđu