What is 5th element?
5th element is consisted of 3 female volunteer translators. What we have in common is the love for music and passion for activism. We started by sharing information and knowledge on cultural backgrounds and social issues surrounding music on the Internet in 2006. Then it evolved into online/offline project to awareness raising campaigns and film screening + discussion workshops. " 5th element" stands for knowledge, as the fifth element of hip hop.
History of 5th element
Start of 5th element - exchange of information on hip hop in social media
While Miki was studying African American Studies at University of Pennsylvania, Keiko and Miki started to exchange information about hip hop and its cultural background in Japan and the U.S. The information became open to public and was shared in the Japanese biggest social media called “Mixi”. Members in the online community actively discussed hip hop related topics. (168 members participate in that community as of Nov 2013.)
Translated DemocracyNow! interview of Professor Michael Eric Dyson
Miki, Keiko and Chieko together worked online to translate for DemocracyNow! interview of Professor Michael Eric Dyson
“5th element” was officially launched
Keiko and Chieko finally met each other at DemocracyNow! Japan meetup and
Chieko officially joined 5th element. Keiko met King Tone, the Zulu King at Universal Zulu Nation Japan, and accredited the use of “fifth element”
Official 5th-element.jp website was established
Keiko, Miki, and Chieko together launched the official website “5th-element.jp” using Content Management System (CMS) and Zoho Project , SaaS platform for shared project
Organized the campaign “BBOY VOTE” at B Boy Park
5th-element members talked with Chuck D (Public Enemy) and organized the campaign “BBOY VOTE” at the Japanese biggest hip hop event “B Boy Park” in Tokyo to encourage young voters to participate in Japanese general election
“Beyond Beats and Rhymes” screening and discussion
Organized the first screening event of Hip Hop “Beyond Beats and Rhymes” with Japanese subtitles. This public screening was combined with participatory discussion with Japanese hip hop female singer, rapper, DJ and sociology professor, public access advocates, domestic violence elimination working groups, etc. Also localized 20 pages brochure with additional information about manhood, misogyny and media literacy situation in Japan.
“Copyright Criminals” screening and discussion
With support by Creative Commons Japan, 5th-element organized the screening event of “Copyright Criminals”, and provided 20 pages brochure introducing concept of Fair Use, hip hop sampling cases in court, and discussed with legendary hip hop DJs, lawyer, professor the future of copyrights for musicians.
Chieko translated the subtitle, Miki presented the project to Creative Commons Japan, and Keiko negotiated the screening rights and made flyers/brochures.
Organized 2-day event “Remix Film Festival” (remixfilm.org) with 9 films related to remix culture followed by discussion on music policies
Using two venues for two weekdays evenings, 5th element screened 9 films from U.S., Denmark, Canada, Japan, UK that talks about copyright and remix culture. The venue was packed with about 150 attendees. This event organized with integrated social media campaign and maximized interaction both online and offline. The event caught attentions of newspaper and online media, creating a buzz on Japan’s copyright policy.
The films played a role of showcasing variety ideas on music copyrights, from digital mashup, pirate party, collage arts to hip hop sampling, and was supported by Creative Commons Japan, Movements for Internet Active Users (MIAU). The multi-stakeholder discussion on copyright opened a dialogue among DJ, fans, P2P expert, TUNECORE JAPAN CEO, lawyers, and educator.
Organized the discussion session “Dancing in the Park” at B Boy Park
Tackle down on dance halls and clubs has been increasing in the last few years. 5th element hosted a discussion event at the Japanese biggest annual hip hop festival “B Boy Park” in Tokyo.
Panelists discussed the issues and possible solutions for clubs and club-goers to continue to dance, one of the few occasion for hip hop community to discuss this issue in public.
“Soul Food Junkies” screening and discussion
Days before World Food Day, 5th element organized film screening and discussion event “Soul Food Junkies”. We provided brochure from government agency of health, mixtape of Food Fight and handmade brochure of 20 pages focusing
understanding of soul food as well as Japan’s food issues. Rapper, chef, food journalist, young farming entrepreneur joined the discussion. The participants were greeted with chef’s special soul food.