Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes are Cuban Hip Hop emcees, independent musicians, poets, and theater performers representing the activism of womyn, immigrants, and queer people of color as a central part of world change. Formed in 1999, Las Krudas brought the female voice to a birthing genre in Cuba. They have earned international acclaim performing, recording, speaking, and touring in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, bringing Cubensi hip hop, dance-hall, cumbia, old and new school beats from around the world laced with their extraordinary Afro-Caribbean rebel lyrics and indomitable voices to empower communities. Las Krudas have been featured at House of Blue Theatre (Chicago), and S.O.B.s (New York City), Antimili Sonoro Festival (Medellin, Colombia 2011), XI Encuentro Feminista Latinoamercano y del Caribe (Mexico City 2009), Festival Internacional de Hip Hop Cubano (La Habana, Cuba 1998-2004), Lula Lounge (Toronto 2012), collaborating and performing alongside the likes of Wanda Kruda and DJ Leydis, Mikey Flow, Sekou Sundiata, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Susana Baca, Quilombo, and many more.
Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul-sisters who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. Alixa and Naima interweave spoken word, hip hop, and award-winning multimedia theater to expose injustice, heal from violence, and make a better future visible, immediate, and irresistible. In fifteen self-organized tours over the past 10 years, Climbing PoeTree has blazed stages in more than 70 cities across the U.S.--including 11,000 miles travelled on a bus converted to run on recycled vegetable oil--and abroad from the UK to South Africa to Cuba. Their soul-stirring performance has been featured alongside power houses such as Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Danny Glover, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, Me’shell Ndegeocello, The Last Poets, and Dead Prez. Alixa and Naima are innovative educators who have lead workshops in institutions from Columbia University to Rikers Island Prison, and are currently developing a multimedia social justice curriculum based off of their latest production Hurricane Season, that uses a new pedagogy to examine “unnatural disasters” and builds new leadership essential for fundamental social change.
Read/see/hear more: Climbing PoeTree | Hurricane Season
Detroit based Hip-Hop artist and activist Invincible began penning lyrics at the age of nine, shortly after moving to the Midwest from the Middle East and learning English by memorizing her favorite songs. She has performed on stages in clubs, community centers, campuses, pride celebrations, and festivals around the world for over a decade, both as a solo artist, and featured as part of the all female Hip-Hop collective ANOMOLIES. She started her own label and media company EMERGENCE and released her critically acclaimed debut album ShapeShifters in 2008. Several media projects accompanied ShapeShifters, including two docu-music-videos about resistance to gentrification in Detroit and colonization in Palestine ("Locusts" and "People Not Places") which have been featured in many film festivals including Media That Matters and South By Southwest. Her lyrics are deeply rooted in social justice work, reflected in a writing process that often involves community feedback, and interviews with community members. Her upcoming project will illuminate the connections between complex science, social movements, and Hip-Hop.
OuterSpaces: Power in the Margins
OuterSpaces is a visionary force of emcees and hip-hop poets representing the strength in marginalized identities. Featuring the spitfire wordplay of Invincible (Detroit), the soul-stirring spoken word of Climbing PoeTree (Brooklyn), and the irrepressible flow and flavor of Las Krudas (Havana), this international, bilingual, pansexual, polyracial, multi-media, cross-genre collaboration of artists nurtures parallel universes where our visions for planetary transformation become possible.
Everywhere in nature, the strongest, rarest and most uniquely evolved species thrive in the margins; in the outer spaces. The natural environment shows us that in the borders between ocean and shore, wetlands and forest, is where new life begins. OuterSpaces is a brigade of shape-shifting, gender-bending artists and activists who refuse to deny any aspects of their dynamic identities, seeking to explore the crossroads of these margins where new ideas emerge and grow.
The OuterSpaces tour will present multi-dimensional performances, interactive workshops and dialogues addressing some of the most pressing social justice issues of our times. Bridging the gap between the personal and political, OuterSpaces aims to inspire audiences and participants to free their imaginations and become agents for the change the world thirsts for. Their art is a space craft breaking through to uncharted territories in our planet's capacity to come into balance, and illuminating the borderlands where we can bring our whole complex selves.
More than a performance, OuterSpaces is an experience. Audiences will step into a parallel universe where possibilities are endless. Invincible's impeccable lyricism decodes complex truths of power and politics, and the science of social change. Climbing PoeTree's compelling cadence stretches the mind and expands the heart on the edge of outrage and inspiration. And Las Krudas twist fierce feminist hip hop and afro-cuban flavors to uplift a message that makes movement irresistible. Accompanying the wordplay of these 5 dynamic performers is stunning video projection, beat boxing (human breath pounding out rhythms on mics, pan flutes, and bottles), hand-made music boxes, and cutting edge instrumentation. In every tour stop, the artists create intentional spaces that not only lift consciousness around social and political issues, but also expand audiences' capacity to imagine another world.
WORKSHOPS & PRESENTATIONS:
1) Hip-Hop, Poetry, and Media to Resist Displacement
2) Parallel Universes and Shadow Histories
3) Knowledge is Power
4) Art is a Hammer
5) Rhyme Scribe
6) OuterSpaces Film Series
Full descriptions are available upon request