L’Angar Festival in Tunis – The struggle for freedom of expression continues

L’angar Festival, Tunis December 2013

Since the Tunisian revolution in 2011 progressive youth movements have used creative means as a non-violent tool to push back the every day oppression from the security apparatus and the new Islamist regime.

On December 14-15 2013 the Tunisian activist radio Asso Chaabi and the Danish Non-profit organization Turning Tables organized the biggest hip hop and electronica event ever in the Middle East and North-Africa. The line-up for L’angar Festival was packed with young political conscious artists from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Morocco, Denmark and Algeria that was invited to spit fire and brimstone in the struggle for regional freedom of expression.

Watch Short Documentary about the festival

Due to interference from the Tunisian Ministries of Interior and Culture all artists from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine was denied visas last minute and the festival was one breath away from cancellation. L’Angar Festival took place despite obstructions from the authorities, the venue owners and start up errors from the organizers. The out come was far from the original blueprint but over two days festival showcased more than 20 Tunisian rappers and progressive acts from Palestinian Boikutt, Algerian Youss, Marrocan Moby Dick and Danish Den Sorte Skole.

The Struggle for freedom of expression continues…

Turning Tables in the international journal Stability of Security & Development

The newly published article “Technology for Peacebuilding” in Stability: International Journal of Security & Development uses Turning Tables as one of their a case studies to show how projects and initiatives aimed at influencing policy are using technology in conflict settings:

“Turning Tables is working to enhance opportunities for marginalized young people in conflict-prone countries to express their grievances, hopes, and dreams through music. Turning Tables has developed an online platform that connects the participants of Turntable Labs in the Middle East, Asia, and the Caribbean. These labs provide creative, independent spaces where marginalized young people can freely express themselves by producing music and videos that reflect their societal and political views.”

Read the full Article here

New Turntable Lab in Myanmar

T-Shirt MyanmarIMG_1676 IMG_1732IMG_1661

After two weeks of 18 hour workdays the new music and film production  lab is up and running at Turning Tables Myanmar in Yangon. The lab will provide an open creative space for activist youth from Yangon and the TT crew will further engage in an outreach program on a regional scale in close corporation with Action Aid Myanmar and their Fellowship program.

The new lab is embedded at Action Aid Global Platform thanks to the new exiting partnership Between Action Aid and Turning Tables that also includes the TT Lab and festival in Tunis and a proposed 3 year project for young Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Massive thanks and mad respect to Martin JakobsenAnne Louise CarstensMark EphraimPa Pa,Ronald AugThet Oo MaungLin Thet NaungMichael Åberg, Win Maw ShwethanzinNora MyanmarMg LinnithAmz Sam,ActionAid Myanmar, the staff at Global Platform and all the magnificent participants. Turning Tables are looking forward to share the first music videos, documentaries and mixtapes at the end of November.

The Tunisian Studio is ready to rumble

Turning Tables are proud to announce that the Turntable Lab in Tunis is now fully operational after 8 days of hard work. The fruit of the labour is that Turning Tables Tunisia will soon spit out three brand new music videos featuring Libyan and Tunisian talent. Big shout outs goes out to The TT Tunisian crew, Radio Asso ChaabiMark EphraimThomas PapapetrosBoikutt Kutt,Zein AbdelzedMc SwatMc Amine and King ShouSh for digging deep.


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Turning Tables selected as NGO of the Week by MISSION.tv

Martin Fernando Jakobsen

The most important thing is to put action behind your words so that ‘fancy smancy’ words like empowerment do not end up as another naked emperor in the streets.”

Founder and Director of Turning Tables Martin F. Jakobsen speaks to the New York placed NGO platform MISSION. tv in connection with Turning Tables being featured as NGO of the Week.

Check out the full interview with Turning Tables Director Martin Fernando Jakobsen on MISSION.tv


First track and video out of Turntable Lab Tunis

The first music video from Turning Tables Tunisia is a product of two intense weeks of workshops in Tunis March 2013. سطح or  “Up On The Roof” features Tunisian activist rappers Katybon, Vipa & WMD in their first ever collaboration produced by Boikutt (Palestine, Damar (Jordan) & Hayej (Tunisia). The Track was mixed and mastered by Mark Ephraim at Hole in the Sky Studio.

You can watch the video here:

You can also just listen to the track or download it:

New Turning Tables video production facility in Tunis

Turning Tables are proud to announce our new music video facility in connection with the Turntable Lab Tunis. The Lab is equipped to film and edit professional music videos in order to spread the tracks and videos made by the activist rappers and DJ’s from Tunis via social media. The Video Lab is funded by the Danish Center for Culture and Development and the setup and initial workshops was conducted by the Danish powerhouse film maker Rene Sascha Johannsen.

Check out the workshop video here: Video Lab Tunis

New Turntable lab in Tunis

The Turning Tables instructor team are in Tunisia to set up a new Turntable Lab including a music studio and video production for activist youth. The project includes a regional exchange where rappers from Libya and Egypt later this year will do musical collaborations and record videos together with Tunisian activist rappers. The project is supported by Action Aid  and the Danish Center for Culture and Development.

Spontaneous rapping broke out a soon as the equipment got plugged in.



Turning Tables Spring Talks announced

Turning Tables i s happy to announce a Spring tour of presentations about our work of giving voice to marginalized youth worldwide on venues ranging from the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) to Carthage in Tunisia.

The tour will begin March 30 where Turning Tables Festival Coordinator Tia will give a speech on regional cooperation and the positive impacts of Hip Hop culture as a tool for development at the Open Cyphers sessions festival in Tunisia. A week later the TT Director Martin Fernando Jakobsen will speak on the panel hip hop and human rights through education at Trinity College International Hip Hop Festival. On May 6 the Director has been invited to present the TT online platform and our global effort to connect socially, politically and economically marginalized youth at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge Boston. The Spring tour will end on May 10th in Copenhagen were the Director will give a lecture about Turning Tables at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

Turning Tables Spring Talks:

New Turning Tables program for disabled youth in Phnom Penh and a Christmas present


The new class for children with disabilities in Cambodia did their first DJ training today at the Turntable Lab in Phnom Penh. The new program is a product of the hard work carried out by our amazing partners Skateistan who has created a integral skateboarding and and DJ program for the disabled youth from the streets of Phnom Penh. The program is set to run through 2013.


A Christmas present from DJ Tin Tin

Turning Tables are very proud to present the first mixtape from DJ instructor Miss Tin Tin from our Cambodian lab. Tin is a one lady powerhouse that masters teaching both kickflips and DJ’ing to the vulnerable street youth of Phnom Penh and she is on course to become one of the best female DJs in Cambodia. To listen to DJ Tin Tin cutting it up click here.


DJ Tin Tin in action



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