Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hip hop in hijab

Amirah Sakett is a Muslim and hip hop dancer who uses her moves to educate others on what it means to be a Muslim American, female, and wear a hijab. She created "We're Muslim, Don't Panic," a performance where she does a lecture, performs, and then leads a Q and A. (She's also from Chicago and there's a clip of her breaking it down at Loyola in the video below!).

I am always a proponent of using dance to help educate others and bring new perspective to a topic with many misconceptions, but what I find particularly creative about Sakett's program is that she mixes Islam culture with hip hop culture in a way that uniquely and effectively represents Muslim Americans. Hagendoom writes that dance is a cultural phenomenon that everyone from every culture identifies with, and Sakett's use of hip hop really triggers interest in the brains of her audience. She primes her audience with the lecture, so that they have a renewed zest and engagement with her movement. Hip hop is in general very dynamic and eye catching movement. What Sakett adds to hip hop is an emotion or metaphorical meaning that isn't normally present in the movement unless paired with intense hip hop music.

Check out this video to learn more:


  1. This is a great example of creativity and activism coming together. Thank you for sharing Sakkett's work. I would love to know the effect that her domain has on her creativity. For example, would her work be as effective and hard-hitting in a situation Muslims were not a minority population. Moreover, how does collaboration with other artists, dancers, and activists further enhance her creativity?

  2. This is truly wonderful. I have seen her videos before and think her slight connection to Loyola is fascinating. I think her work is extremely important especially in current times. It is important to be aware of other cultures and also their relation with our own so that we can help combat the fear of the "different." By engaging her audience with an art form most of us are aware of, it is easy for Sakkett to educate us on the cultural aspects that apply to her and her peers that we are not yet aware. I wonder how far the awareness of her and her work has gone and I hope to see her popularity to continue to grow.


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