Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Bling: A Planet Rock

BLING is a 90’ documentary film which focuses on the complex relationship between “blood” diamonds, conflict, the influence of Hip-Hop music and culture, and community development. Produced by VH1 Rock Docs, Article 19 Films and the United Nations Development Programme, the film features the participation of Hip-Hop artists from the US and Sierra Leone.

During the filming in Sierra Leone in July 2006, hip-hop artists Pall Wall and Raekown from the Wu-Tang Clan and reggaeton idol Tego Calderon visited diamond mines, refugee and amputee camps, as well as met with children who were victims of the war. The artists also met with top government officials, as well as local hip-hop artists. From the conversations with representatives of UNDP, UNAIDS, the EU and NGOs they learned about the history of the blood diamonds trade and its role in wars across Africa. The artists were introduced to all the new initiatives such as the Kimberley Process, D4D and the Diamonds Development Initiative (DDI - launched by Partnership Africa Canada, Global Witness and De Beers), the goal of which is to stabilize and regulate the clean diamond trade and enforce its role in development.

The experiences of the artists/unconscious consumers exposed a vulnerable side of hip-hop, which is rarely seen. The trip also affected the artists profoundly.

BLING has a unique style and tone, which aims to catch the attention of young viewers, encourage them to become responsible consumers and show that hip-hop has the potential to be a coalescing force of our generation.

UNDP Bling: A Planet Rock

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