All this blah-blah-blah about citizen media and the democratization of participatory communication … all the traveling and the workshops and the guides and conference panels … the true end-goal of it all … the dream … the mecca … was to get mentioned in a rap song.

And now that it’s happened, I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do with the next 50 or so years of my life. I suppose it’s time to learn how to play bridge.

I should point out that this project that we call “HiperBarrio” is actually two different projects rolled into one. (And we’re trying our best to get the two projects to interact more.) First there is the group based in Santo Domingo where Jorge Montoya and Juliana Rincon have been giving workshops over the past six months.

Then there is another group of library users in the neighborhood of La Loma that have given themselves the name “ConVerGentes” (a play on words which I’m really not sure how to translate into English.) In total, there are about 12 young people (pictured below) who are active members of ConVerGentes and they each have their special talents both online and off. Carmen the poet, Catalina the leader, Deneiber the musician, Milton the performer … and on and on.


Jorge’s talents are almost too numerous to count. Not only is he (obviously) a brilliant rapper and lyricist, but he’s also an incredible graphic designer and a hell of a good documentary producer as well. He’s responsible for the production of Rayones – an intriguing look at La Loma’s tagging culture. My hope is that Jorge gets the opportunity he deserves to get into a studio and lay down some serious tracks for a demo record. As I’ve already written here, there’s not much in the way of opportunities for hip-hop artists in Medellín, but now that Jorge has established a strong online identity, my hope is that his music will fall into the hands (or ears) of someone who can get it distributed wider.

You can read more updates about the HiperBarrio project in English on their project blog.