A Hip Hop Map of Duisburg: Our Group Project

During our seminar on Mapping Hip Hop Culture in the Ruhr Area, our group did several trips to the city of Duisburg. Duisburg is located in the western part of the Ruhr Area which is famous for its large steel plants along the Rhine river. We talked to educaters and social workers, as well as to a shop owner. We soon realized that a huge part of the culture takes place in Duisburg-Hochfeld, a troubled neighborhood in Duisburg. As the area is marked by immigration and deindustrialization, there is also a lot of potential.

The educator Tomek introduced us to his work, methods, and principles in the project Multikulti. These were supported by the social worker Tony who has worked in Hochfeld for a long time. We also talked to rappers from Duisburg who explained their opinion and perspective on Hip Hop in their hometown. We did several visits to the Rheinpark, a place that offers people a space of freedom to embrace their creativity. But also smaller places like the Headshop gave us an insight into the Hip Hop culture of Duisburg.

The experiences we made in Hochfeld, the social devastation, but also the strenght and creativity of the people living there, reminded us very much of the Bronx, the birthplace of Hip Hop culture. As a result, we decided to create a Hip Hop Map of Duisburg to visualize our findings because we drew inspiration from the famous photo book Born in the Bronx which also features a map of the Bronx.