Forward DC x Urban Artistry

It’s really hard to plan out an escape to a foreign land when you’re barely an adult, but the plan was to leave the suburbs of D.C. because it lacked life and artistry. I couldn’t breathe behind the politics and lies and the only thing I could do was escape… so I did just that. I ran from George Bush straight into the arms of Queen Elizabeth. After all, London is the city that cultivated a revolution by ignoring the norm and creating its own individuality.  It gave life to artists like Led Zeppelin, Vivienne Westwood, and many more. It said to the world, “Fuck you! This is who I am,” and for that I fell in love with London. But we all know every love story has to come to an end.

Sadly, London and I had to part, but I was quick to find warmth in the City of Lights, NYC. A city considered by most as the city of dreams, the city of opportunity, and lastly the city of hip-hop. I was opened up to yet another city where poetry was spit on the streets and decorated on the walls. How could I ever want to leave this place? But yet again, life always has other plans and I somehow ended up back to the place where I desperately tried to escape, the suburbs of Washington D.C.

God, I was back in the dungeon. I felt as though my soul and all that had been taught to me was starting to wither away. I tried to plan yet another escape until I ran into someone who wanted to change D.C. into the place I never thought it could be. Therefore, I took a job with a start up company called Hudiefly, and that’s when my eyes were open to the endless possibilities.
I went to this event this past weekend called FORWARD presented by 88 D.C., a mix media company headed by David Fogel and Graham Jackson, who together have been pushing forward an underground culture to feed the souls of those DC residents who were hungry for more art, more sound, more life, just more. For over five years this dynamic duo has been weaving together a community of individualists that aren’t scared to go against the norms of societal standards and make an artistic statement.  Also a major part of the event was Urban Artistry, an international collective of artists and dancers focused on the authentic and complete representation of urban dance styles. I found myself captivated by this all-encompassing synergy emanating from the collective of artists, performers, and audience gathering underneath an overpass a few minutes away from the Washington Memorial to celebrate this underground culture and community. From break dancing, to spinning, to graffiti and live music, it was an event that showcased a plethora of amazing local talents.

As I watched these artists perform, I kept thinking how shielded the world is from such blatant expressionism. Is it that we are not ready to show who we are to the world, or is it that we are afraid of succumbing to the heart and, with that, losing our own authenticity? A question that most fear, but unless we can open the eyes of the blinded, how else will they ever take notice to who we are as artists?  As the group of us lost souls who found one another based on a similar vision to carve out our very own slice of utopia in the suburbs of DC, we at Hudiefly are thoroughly inspired by what FORWARD D.C. has done to bring an unapologetic, authentic breath of life and art to D.C. A capital with such potential doesn’t have to be considered a dungeon anymore, rather an artistic utopia, where art and politics can live and breathe together.
Visit and to check out amazing happenings these folks bring into the capital year-round.

Photography + Writing
by Stefanie Akinmade

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