Thursday, 10 April 2014

A BBC News blog and the MEP rap battle.

Yes, really. MEP. Rap. Battle.

Sofia's picture
MEPs (that's Members of the European Parliament, and I judge you not if you didn't already know), in the main parliament building here in Brussels, rapping. It really happened.

Last night, actually, and guess what? I co-wrote a little piece for the BBC News Inside Europe blog about it! So yes, that's pretty exciting.

Have a read here! (There can only be one name on the byline so I don't actually get a mention until the bottom but that doesn't matter.) And if ya fancy it, you could also share it on the social network of your choice. Just sayin'.

Now, you all know how much I like a waffle - in both senses of the word (mmm waffles) - so I figured I'd just share a teeeensy bit more about my experience as well as a few more snaps.

Also Sofia's snap
The idea was that MEPs would battle it out for our votes in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament, and what better way to do so than through rap, right? I've gotta hand it to them for creativity although it's safe to say I was slightly - how shall I word this? - unsure of what to expect beforehand.

When I arrived at the European Parliament, I was shocked to see a massive queue snaking out of the building and yes, they were all there for the rap battle!

Sofia's pic
I think the majority of those there were young parliament workers (there are a lot of interns, trainees and assistants) and I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I reckon, just maybe, the open bar providing "free beer and water" (yes guys, free water) could have been an enticing factor.

That said, who wouldn't want to see MEPs rapping?

Alas, the MEPs themselves didn't really rap, but the professionals did and the MEPs should definitely be commended for getting into the spirit of it all - some more than others!

The event was sponsored by Facebook and MTV Voices among others (an attempt to be down with the kids?) and the hashtag #battle4yourvote was encouraged. Yes, with a '4'. *facepalm* If you take it in an ironic way it's pretty funny though.

That wasn't the only use of the big screen though, oh no. We were shown graphs, people!

At this point I was starting to feel like I was at some strange lecture crossed with a club night, but I think maybe our MC for the night was just stalling.

So there was a bit of politics, yes, but I can't help but wonder if the event actually swayed anyone or persuaded anyone to vote who wasn't going to before... Obviously I don't know for sure, but I reckon most of the attendees were all already part of the Brussels Eurobubble, and isn't it the 'normal' people back home who are more likely to need the encouragement?

Still, maybe the hashtag trended, and hey, you can watch the whole evening back online if you fancy it. I don't know whether the organisers achieved their aim, but it was certainly different (hey, they got a BBC News blog out of it!) and I enjoyed myself. Yo.

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