While presenting the theme of the 22nd edition, Melissa Proietti, general coordinator of the Festival, explains that \’The term underdogs symbolizes everyone hidden in the shadows with a hidden talent, unsuspected, whom have surprised many. The graffiti writers are the underdogs ow the art world and Hip Hop, in its origins the underdogs of the musical world… We are all underdogs, and it doesn\’t stop us to accomplish great things. We fight together and support each other to succeed in the name of the community that we are.\’
Graffiti writers Jimmy Baptiste and Haks 180 created the branding of this year’s festival. Faithful participants and members of the big Under Pressure family, these man drew their inspiration from the roots of Hip Hop and personified the dogs into key figures of this culture, such as Rakim, and graffiti artist Dondi to name only a few.
The 2017 edition of the Festival emphasizes the work of diverse underdogs and collaborates with numerous Montreal and Canadian community and cultural groups
This year, the festivities will start Wednesday August 9th at Foufounes Électriques for the 49th edition of the famous art competition Beaux Dégâts, combined withe the regional final of the 2017 Canadian DMC DJ competition. Beaux Dégâts tends to create a parallel with street art and Fine Arts. It puts forward what has been forgotten by many artistic institutions, the reality the artists from the street, the importance of community, sharing, accessibility, the unusual.
The special 2017 Under Pressure edition will gather, for over two hours, twelve teams of artists who will improvise 8\’ by 8\’ murals on themes given on the night of the event. Each team will research and appropriate visual references to conceptualize their creation in front of the public. All mediums are allowed except spray paint. During the night, the public votes for their favourite painting with their Pabst beer cans. The team that will have collected the most cans will win the right to paint over the other creations if they so wish.
On top of the djs part of the DMC competition, there will be a showcase by Montreal DJ Killa Jewel and djs Construct, Lentils, Stram, 2GZ and Mixologue. The artist X-WAM will do a beat box performance. The evening will be hosted by Ella Grave and Osti One. An event not to be missed by any music and art amateurs.
Let\’s highlight the Off The Record conference: Hip-Hop Cultural Workers in Canada which will happen August 10th and 11th from 9am until 5pm at the Notman House in Montreal. The purpose of the event is to extend, share and spread scientific and practical knowledge from the cultural work of Hip Hop in Canada. The goal is to create a new national communication network to support skills and sharing knowledge, leading to positive impacts on the community across the country.
A project initiated by representatives of McGill University, MacEwan University, University of Ottawa, University of Art and Design of Ontario and Revolution Per Minute, this conference will gather many actors and influencers of the scene. Amongst them Montrealers Miss Me (street artist), Monk.E (rapper and graffiti writer), Sterling Downey (co-founder of the Under Pressure Festival), Pierre-Michel Jean-Louis (bboy Afternoon), Darcy McDonald (Hip Hop writer), Vincent Stephen Ong (Urban Science), Dr.Mad (DJ and community worker), Sean Fawcett (graffiti writer), Kate Asterlund (bgirl Lynx), Melissa Proietti (general coordinator of Under Pressure Festival, McGill PhD and community worker).
An important part of the program will be focused on the work done by and with the native communities in Canada. The continuing participation of members of the Native community in the conference will be favoured through collaborators Jodi Stonehouse, Allan Vicaire and Jarrett Martineau and with conferences, workshops and panel presentations. The well-known Haida artist Corey Bulpitt will host a workshop combining graffiti and wood sculpture. Furthermore, the artist will as well be painting a wall during the weekend of Under Pressure.
The symposium will be passively bilingual; the principal lectures will be in English, but some of the presentations and discussion panels will be in French (with participants offering informal translation if needs be). This event is free and open to all.
Apart from the conference, during this 22nd edition a collaboration with the Orientalys Festival will bring the Tunisian calligraffiti artist Karim Jabbari to paint the wall of the Al-Omah Al- Islamiah, located next to the Under Pressure Festival area.