a roopa singh film: “Cultura 4 Prez,” dispatch from election day (featuring my parents, my students, the best fall tree in prospect park and music by shamik)

Dear Readers,

At least 400 of you visit this site every fucking day. Thank you. To my students at Pace in the course of my dreams, Hip Hop Politics, I Love U.

My first independent film, “Cultura 4 Prez,” is featured below. Shot, edited, and produced by: roopa singh. Music by Shamik , http://www.myspace.com/teamshamik)


Poem 4 Me:

i’ve been away

i’m back

i’m stronger

my name is roopa singh

that’s r-double o-p-a

i’m a professor of law, hip hop, and economics

i’m battling lust and sometimes, i believe it when posers say they love me

when they don’t even love themselves

i’m like malcolm and laura on the dance floor

‘cept i’m both

i’m waiting to hear back from the tisch school of arts

because i applied to a masters program in film

so i’ve been away

and now i’m back


On my film, Cultura 4 Prez:

While government and industry both assert their authorship of the American story, the pubic has consistently voted for the arts with their hips, throats, wallets and hearts. Cultura 4 Prez, brings home this point with a vivid and grounding look at America on and around Election Day, 2008. The film poses a timely political question to young and old, immigrant and citizen; “What does change mean to you?” Book ended by scenes from Wildstyle, an iconic film that documents graffiti and hip hop poised between cultural movement and popular consumption, Cultura 4 Prez nurtures the idea that artists are core leaders of the democratic project.

A few months ago I won a teaching award which included a sum of money. With that money I bought my first video camera, a little “Flip” with an attached USB port. This camera is the first video camera to be owned in my family, and it is what I used to shoot Cultura 4 Prez. Since I don’t currently have Final Cut Pro, I produced Cultura 4 Prez in one night, using the tools I needed and burning the midnight oil at a friend’s house.

Bits of magic accompanied the creation of Cultura 4 Prez. The best fall tree in Prospect Park held its leaves for one last day as I captured its sublime representation of change. The Greyhound bus I took to visit my parents Diwali weekend broke down, and I had the extended chance to talk to my fellow passengers. My students at City College are bright pundits, and shine on camera. I was able to sneak my camera in to document my vote, and so on.

The end product is a short film with a lot to say about leadership, change, and the importance of creative mindfulness in heady political times.

Stay tuned for more dear readers. I’m a political poet, with all the news that’s fit to flip.


roopa singh

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