Hip Hop, Hartford and The Power of Digital Storytelling

Short Documentary Films by Trinity Students Tell Stories of Local Hip Hop Pioneers‘Hartford Hip Hop Digital Stories’ Screening and Discussion Held at Hartford Public Library

Hartford, Connecticut, February 28, 2018—“Hartford Hip Hop Digital Stories,” a collection of short documentary films created by Trinity College students featuring local hip hop artists, recently screened at the Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center. The February 13 event also included a discussion with some of the student filmmakers and hip hop artists. The project began when Associate Professor of History and International Studies Seth Markle, who teaches a course called “Global Hip Hop Cultures,” met with Trinity alumna Jasmin Agosto ’10, a staff member at the Hartford History Center. “She was in the early stages of creating a digital archive on hip hop in Hartford, and I wanted to make a contribution through my class,” Markle said. “The course was about more than a grade. We wanted to produce something for the community. The students’ work is going to be accessible to the people, who can learn about Hartford from a cultural, musical perspective.” Markle’s design for his course began to take shape when he received a fellowship from Trinity’s Center for Teaching and Learning, which provided an opportunity for him to meet with other professors to discuss curriculum, exchange syllabi, and brainstorm ideas for assignments. He made changes to the existing “Global Hip Hop Cultures” course to take advantage of the opportunity for students to work with the Hartford History Center. “In rethinking the course, I wanted to combine oral history with digital storytelling,” Markle said. “As a historian, I’m very comfortable with oral history, but the technological component of digital storytelling was new to me.” The 15 students enrolled in Markle’s class during the fall 2017 semester were tasked with creating a collection of short digital stories that featured seven of Hartford’s hip-hop pioneers: Myron Moye, Tony Villarini, Rick Torres, Juanita “Empress Nujuabi” Chislom, Dooney Bates, Janice Flemming and Mike “Nice” Wilson.”

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