The Chicago Drill and Activism (shorthand: Chi DNA) feature documentary and cross-platform, multi-media project explores the creation, meaning, perspectives, and connections between drill rap and the resurgence of grassroots activism since the early 2010s through the eyes of the people involved.
The second episode in Chi DNA’s micro-doc series explores the role of art in activism and the importance of telling one’s authentic narrative creatively in speaking truth to power. Art and activism have always gone hand in hand. Chicago activists use various artistic mediums to push the resurgence forward. From traditional paint on canvas to informative and beautiful zines to community corner spoken word, creative narratives are employed to educate, express, and cope. Art has been a tool of movements past and continues to serve as a versatile component of the movement. With authenticity and expression at the center, this episode also unpacks drill as a type of misunderstood art in-and-of-itself. What would not conventionally be considered movement art, the subgenre discusses the ills of disenfranchised black and brown communities in a totally different way, often times under a prideful ownership or coping mindset, both dealing with larger structural problems and interpersonal or intercommunal affects.
Chicago Drill ‘n Activism
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SoapBox Productions and Organizing
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