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‘Healing through Hip Hop in the Slums of Phnom Penh,’ Rupkatha Journal

Healing through Hip Hop in the Slums of Phnom Penh’, Rupkatha Journal, Special issue on Performance Studies, 2013

​”Local non-government organisation ‘Tiny Toones’ is the first and only of its kind in Cambodia, to use hip hop to engage with, and empower the most disadvantaged children and youth in Phnom Penh. Working with young people from backgrounds of drug and alcohol abuse, prostitution, gang life, family violence and extreme poverty, it offers creative arts alongside education and life skills….”

Read Article: Healing through Hip Hope in the Slums of Phnom Penh

Tedx Phnom Penh

In Febraury 2011, Cambodia held its first ever Tedx in Phnom Penh.

As Manager of Tiny Toones I was asked to present. Of course I wanted founder ‘KK’ to do it with me even though I knew I would get a certain “no.” KK is a humble and shy man. I did however manage to convince him to be recorded on video which we shot on my balcony over endless laughs (the offcuts could make a video on its own!).

Those that know me know I would never go anywhere without ‘my kids’ – the beloved staff and students of this hip hop centre. When asked to perform, my first question was “can I bring my kids up on stage?” which was initially met with silence. After explaining who they were and no they are not little children but teens and older… I was given permission.

Below is the Tedx presentation we did. The performance by ‘my kids’ was choreographed by them under the guidance of KK.

… and yes I did write a story about the lead up to Tedx: the fear, anxiety, excitement and the ultimate performance. Sections can be read in imprint 14: ‘A Perfect Statue’ or for those who can’t be bothered reading, you can watch it on video here in the blog from when I performed the written story at open-mic in Thailand.

We called it ‘Dance Your Life Around.’

 

Kha’s unbelievable solo.

Kha and Slick’s ‘dance fight’

The team

And I couldn’t have done it without Shhort…