Thursday, March 29, 2007

French Rappers get political

This year's election has been marked by high rates of voter registration, especially in the poorer and more minority-dominated suburbs. Because of this new political momentum, French rappers, many themselves immigrants, have used their positions to get involved and encourage the youth to take part in the political process. Here is just one example:

Rost, 30, a black rapper born in Togo, who is not even French, published a “Guide for Voters” this week, intended to explain the basics of France, citizenship and the right to vote to housing project dwellers, most of whom are of immigrant origin like himself.

Rost’s “Guide for Voters” provides interviews with candidates who agreed to talk to him, including Socialist Segolene Royal, currently ranked second in polls, Francois Bayrou, ranked third, and even Le Pen. Among those missing is Sarkozy, who, Rost said, rejected the interview format with video and photos.