Famed breakdancer Nancy Yu, AKA Asia One, is helping to rescue 20 young hip hop lovers from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
The group - whose lives are at risk for “western practices” - first contacted the breakdancer in 2019 asking for advice. The Guardian reported the story changing one member’s name to Moshtagh.
“He felt they were really good, but they felt, like, invisible to the world,” she told The Guardian. “I liked him. He wasn’t trying to bug me or say ‘we need this right now’… he seemed rather humble and honest.”
After receiving the letter from Moshtagh, the Californian-based hip hop dancer started communicating with the group and set up the mission #SaveAfghanHiphoppers in late 2021.
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“#SaveAfghanHipHoppers is a mission we created dedicated to helping rescue 20 young Afghans including family members, women and children, who are all in hiding in a hostile neighbouring country, to get out and seek asylum in a safe country,” reads the campaign.
Over the years, the Taliban has made enormous gains through Afghanistan. The capital city of Kabul, where the group were situated, now finds itself under Taliban control.
Last summer, the hip hop group decided to leave the city in a decision based on “complete fear”, according to Nancy.
“You know, just that overwhelming sense of survival, that ‘if we don’t leave now, we don’t know what’s going to happen to us. And so we’re gonna risk our chance’,” she said.
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Now, Nancy Yu has set a goal of reaching $80,000 to help the group of 20 escape safely. “We need your support to get them and their families safely out of the region NOW,” the campaign reads.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward application processes, relocation, resettlement, and legal aid. The group have already raised over $14,000 for food, shelter and clothing.
“Hip-Hop culture is about giving back, so let's help our community members in need,” she added. “Failure is not an option.”
Find out more about the campaign here, and help the Afghan hip hop group reach their goal.
[Via The Guardian]
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter