HIPHOPISTAN is a documentary film that examines the impact of Hip-Hop culture on Istanbul youth and reveals how young Turkish rappers, DJs, break-dancers, and graffiti artists creatively blend popular influences with their local cultural values and traditions. In a world that is becoming increasingly exposed to global media, much has been debated as to whether or not societies and individuals can adopt influences from music, television, cinema, internet and fashion in a positive and constructive way without losing their own cultural identities and heritage. The dichotomy terms of “East” and “West” have unfortunately regularly coincided with “tradition” and “modernity” and “local” and “global” making it seem as though they are polarized opposites.
While providing a glimpse into the lives of innovative youth in a predominantly Muslim and rapidly globalizing city, HIPHOPISTAN presents examples of how globalization can provide opportunities for creative changes rather than simply erasing local culture. Creative artists provide solutions that allow tradition and change to peacefully co-exist. By displaying how communities are created through the use of lyrics, beats, rhymes, dance, and graffiti art, HIPHOPISTAN emphasizes how the universality of music and expression blurs all cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic boundaries and barriers and thus raises awareness of the many similarities of youth culture worldwide.
“The short film features interviews with several Istanbul hip hop artists, all of whom assert the individual importance of hip hop and its significance for the society as a whole. Recommended.”
– Linda Frederiksen, Educational Media Reviews Online
“Illustrates how hip hop and rap have entered Turkish culture and become distinctly Turkish – and spawned the same cultural debates in that country as in the United States. HIPHOPISTAN is a valuable short film that could be used profitably in introductory classes to illustrate modern global cultural processes, as well as in advanced courses in globalization and ethnomusicology. Students will appreciate the focus on a contemporary musical style that most enjoy and all recognize. Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of music/ethnomusicology, anthropology of globalization, and Turkish studies, as well as general audiences.”
– Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
Best Short Documentary, Atlanta Hip-Hop Film Festival
Top Ten Hip-Hop Films, Hip-Hop Odyssey International Film Festival
Distinguished Contributions to Turkish Documentary Filmmaking, DocuTurk New York Documentary Showcase
IF Festival- Istanbul & Ankara, Turkey
Globians Film Festival, Potsdam, Germany
Society for Visual Anthropology/American Anthropological Association Film, Video and Interactive Media Festival, Washington D.C.
Blacksoil Hip Hop Film Festival, Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Boston Turkish Film Festival
CINEFEST, University of Madison in Winsconsin
Just Shoot Me Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands
Plato Film Short Film Festival, Istanbul
Rhythm of the Line Hip-Hop Film Festival, Berlin
Istanbul Street Style Summer Cinema Series
Turkish Festival, Washington D.C.
Southeast European Film Festival, Los Angeles
Assembly of Turkish-American Association Convention, Washington D.C.
Beeld voor Beeld Film Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands & Antwerp, Belgium