I Am...

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Rhymin' since day... curious is a multi-tasking microphone vandal. Hiphop poetry is the dish of the day. Whether served fresh acapella or over baking hot beats, the elements of this feast are best enjoyed raw. Catch a portion of curious online or on stage, spitting like a pig on a spit roast. Check in to keep updated...peaCe

Saturday, 23 March 2013

ME AND MY SCHOOL Project (essay)

Photo: Gavin Evans

They say all good/bad things come in threes. Here is the third of my writings on hip-hop and education. This one is less about hip-hop, although it does get a reference and much of the work I discuss in this essay informs my current practice and feeds into the HipHopEd work I am involved in. I wrote this in 2006 at the end of a year participating in the TAP Programme and it is presented here without appendices and with a few incomplete references.
TAP was a professional development programme for artists and teachers. It took participants on a highly creative and academically rigorous exploration of their own and each others practices and pedagogies. TAP focussed on multi-disciplinary approaches, creative risk-taking, relationships and collaboration. Run by L.I.F.T. and accredited by the I.O.E., TAP was an innovative and rewarding experience that hugely developed my understanding of teaching, learning and creativity.

*Obviously it lost its funding and now only exists in articles on the internet

ME AND MY SCHOOL Project By Chris Beschi (2006)

Friday, 22 March 2013

So, What's The Scenario? Hiphop for healing

The garden at St. Ethelburga, London.

Last year I was asked to perform at an inter-faith community centre in Queen's Park for an event run by the St. Ethelburga's organisation. Stories That Heal, Stories That Harm was a participatory day of talks and workshops for a range of educators, therapists, community practitioners, academics and others working with personal and community narratives. The aim was to explore different approaches and share experiences of working closely with people's personal stories and community narratives in various educational and therapeutic settings, in order to stimulate better practice and generate a greater understanding of the work being done in that field. I was asked to talk about the work I do with hiphop and education and how that contributes to this area of practice. I shared some examples from my practice of how hiphop culture has provided a starting point for developmental work with students in schools as well as my opinions about the culture's validity as a platform for engaging young people in story-telling that can contribute to their self-development. The day went well and there were some interesting talks and presentations. After the event I wrote some notes on my iPhone trying to sum up what I had said about my own work, as well as what I had learnt from the day. I later formatted these notes into a document that I share below. This was one of the first times I had spoken about my use of hiphop culture and music in my work to an audience, The response was very positive and it gave me more confidence to explore hiphop culture and it's contribution to my practice. This continues through the work I do with UkHipHopEd and within my role as a special needs teacher in a mainstream secondary school in North West London, where I use hiphop's content and principles to engage young people with behaviour and communication difficulties.

View and download So, What's The Scenario? By Chris Beschi

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Hip Hop Stance

The 3rd UKHipHopEd Seminar went off on March 9th at Gayhurst Primary School in London Fields, Hackney. Although this monolithic Victorian primary school lacked some of the kudos of the previous 2 seminar's I.O.E. residencies, it brought the movement back to the streets that raised it. This fortuitous relocation literally took UKHipHopEd back to the old school. The choice of location was no accident however, as it is the school where long-time UKHipHopEd practitioner, Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom) delivers hip-hop education to the local youts on a daily basis. It is where he organises and leads 'Power To The Pupils'; a highly successful hip-hop orientated project working with students creatively, to explore issues of identity, personal responsibility; social justice and chicken and chips! Darren is the driving force behind the UkHipHopEd movement and his passion and commitment are evident in the work he does at Gayhurst.

Being back in a primary school, led me to think back on my own time as a primary teacher, working in a special needs school in north west London. It was during this time, having completed my teacher training, that I first started to think about hip hop in an educational context. In 2006 I was encouraged to participate in  a teacher/artist professional development and action research project run by L.I.F.T. and called TAPP. In this highly academic environment I was able to explore my identity and beliefs as a practitioner, as well as learning much about pedagogical approaches and theories that bolstered my belief in the validity of hiphop as not only an educational tool, but as a transferable framework for shaping and informing an entire approach to teaching and learning. The Hip Hop Stance is an essay I wrote while facilitating on TAPP in the following year. It explores my personal history with hip-hop and education and begins to define some of the key aspects of my practice at that time; much of which still informs my current practice. 

Inspired by a culture I had stumbled across as a kid in Wembley, I unknowingly started along a journey of self-managed continuous professional development (cpd) that would eventually lead (after 7 years) to a parquet-floored hall (on a Saturday morning) in East London, to discuss the finer points of hip-hop pedagogy with leading hip-hop academic, Dr. Patrick Turner; legendary British rappers TY and Reveal and an assembled crew of teachers, workshop leaders, music producers, DJs, MCs, educators, environmentalists and the very nice lady from rapgenius.com

When KRSONE said that, rap is something you do; hip-hop is something you live, even he couldn't have imagined that 20 years later, events like this one would be further pushing the boundaries of hip-hop  and exploring the culture's potential for enriching the lives of a whole new school of hip-hop kids.

(Link now works!!)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Out Spoken 26/2/2013

Out Spoken returned to The Star Of Kings for another rammed out night of spoken word poetry, hip-hop and live acoustic performances from:

Curious - http://www.artofcurious.blogspot.co.uk/ - @poetcurious

Kat Francois - http://www.katfrancois.com/ - @KatFrancois

GREEdS - http://www.iamgreeds.com/ - @iamgreeds

Rufio Summers - https://www.facebook.com/OfficialRufioSummers - @RufioSummers

Jacob Banks - https://www.facebook.com/JacobBanksOfficial - @MrJacobBanks

Hosted by Anthony Anaxagorou and The Ruby Kid, Out Spoken brings together a loyal and diverse crowd of creative minds in a sometimes sweaty basement in the heart of Kings Cross. The vibe is lit-hop and the production is slickly managed by the hosts. The line ups are always varied and crammed and breaks are in short supply. However, the spectacle makes the knee ache worthwhile, and the whole thing is thoroughly documented thanks to Luigi Karim Elliot so you can watch back the highlights from the comfort of your sofa at a later date.

Out Spoken has been running for about a year and has quickly eared a reputation as one of London's freshest nights to attend or perform at!! Check facebook for the next Out Spoken event and book your ticket early!

Big thanks to Anthony and Ruby Kid for getting me down. Looking forward to the next one - soon come!!

In the meantime, enjoy these videos from February...