‘Unidos por el mismo sueño en una canción’: On music, gangs and flows

Carles Feixa, Paula Guerra

Abstract


Webster’s dictionary defines flow as ‘a smooth uninterrupted movement’ and as ‘a continuous transfer of energy’. In hip-hop culture, the word is used to express movements that blend in a musical and bodily sense, and by extension, a social and cultural sense. This is why the Young Latin Kings and Ñetas, two immigrant collectives in Barcelona who were considered dangerous ‘Latin gangs’ up until a few years ago, chose this term to name their project of conflict resolution through music. Their project was presented in 2008, after two years of hard work in a youth centre in Nou Barris (a working-class district in Barcelona with a long tradition of hosting immigrants). This article seeks to analyse the social context and the social processes of juvenile identity (re)construction, considering the music and artistic production Unidos Por El Flow of the Latin Kings and Ñetas as a major argument for the importance of music and the arts in identity (re)structuring and social inclusion of many youths.

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