One of the eight Special Programmes of the DOK Festival 2016 is the We are Hip Hop Programme. It reaches from films, music, street art and dance to a form of protest culture, a fundamental element in the world of hip hop. The curator Kim Busch chose a diverse selection, in which every hip hop lover can find something.
With caring animations 149th and Grand Concourse show the own life and dynamic of a New York subway station. The short film 149th and Grand Concourse and the documentation Martha & Niki are a special combination. The with great care animated short film 149th and Grand Concourse demonstrates the musical life of a subway station in New York in three minutes. While an armchair is singing a Justin Bieber hit, a park watch chants Gloria Gaynors „I will survive“ and two newspaper automats intone a duet, the 1980’s hit „Sweet Dreams“ by Eurythmics. With this the directors Carolyn and Andy from London give every unimportant seeming detail on the streets of New York a special touch.
After this, Martha and Niki get on stage and fascinate everyone in the audience immediately. It is their journey of the two swedish hip hop dancers from nationals battles to their victory at the greatest international street dance competition „Juste Debout“ in Paris – after this they finally get to encounter their fame in the street dance world. It becomes clear what special connection Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos have aside from the dance floor.
Not only are they the first female world champions in street dance but the also share a profound friendship. And the documentation by the director Tora Mkandawire even goes one step further. She explores the challenges the two women face in the male dominated hip hop scene and how much fame a friendship can take. Martha and Niki have to come to realize that at some points their wishes and dreams have drifted apart and that they have to redefine these. However, have they come to deal with this situation and to, nevertheless, preserve their friendship aside from the differences.