This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. UNCLAS BOGOTA 005735
DEPT. FOR ECA/PE/C/CU - SANDY ROUSE; WHA/PDA
E.O. 12958 N/A
SUBJECT: AMERICAN MUSIC ABROAD
REF: A) STATE 102369; B) BOGOTA 5534
1. In response to Ref A, Bogota enthusiastically wishes to
participate in the 2005 American Music Abroad program. In
particular, we hope to receive a hip-hop group. We request
four programming days at any time during the week other than
Sunday. We would plan to take the group to two cities with
large Afro-Colombian populations.
2. The American Music Abroad Program in Colombia would support
the MPP theme of strengthening democracy by increasing Embassy
engagement with the Afro-Colombian community. Colombians of
African descent constitutes one quarter of the country's
population, yet some 90% percent of Afro-Colombians live in
poverty and they have remained socially and economically
excluded from the main currents of Colombian life. They have
also suffered considerably from the country's long internal
conflict, and many Afro-Colombians have been displaced from
rural areas to cities, where they lack basic services.
Democratic stability will require addressing the problem of
economic development and social integration for Afro-
3. In recognition of this challenge, the Embassy has just
embarked on a major outreach initiative to increase ties with
Afro-Colombians. The initiative was sparked in part by a
groundbreaking U.S. Speaker program (Ref B) that brought
Spelman College professor of anthropology Sheila Walker to
Colombia in early May for meetings with Afro-Colombian leaders
and students. Prospective outreach elements include a lunch
hosted by the Ambassador, followed by a Voluntary Visitor
Program, for Afro-Colombian leaders; English language
scholarships for Afro-Colombian students; and the formation of
an Embassy advisory committee on Afro-Colombian issues.
4. A program with an American hip-hop group would provide a
unique opportunity to engage Afro-Colombians, particularly
young people. We have, in fact, already established a
connection between Afro-Colombian youth and hip-hop. Two
current U.S. Fulbright graduate students are conducting
research on the impact of American hip-hop on Afro-Colombian
music and culture. Through their work, we know that music
influenced by hip-hop has become an important source of
political expression among young Afro-Colombians. We also
know that live performances and workshops with an American hip-
hop group would find a large and enthusiastic audience in
Colombia. We also believe that such a program would result in
a continuing dialogue between Afro-Colombians and the Embassy,
and indeed between Afro-Colombians and their fellow citizens,
about diversity, social inclusiveness, and democracy.
5. While security is a concern in many areas of Colombia, we
do not believe security would inhibit interaction between a
hip-hop group and the public in cities planned for this
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