Kyla Philander: I want to come at you with an alternative

Rapper and filmmaker Kyla Philander explains her creative processes, inspirations and major themes throughout her work.

Kyla Philander is a Cape Town-based storyteller, musician and videographer. Believing that Hip-Hop is an extremely important medium that can be used as a tool for education and for spreading love, she uses it as a channel to create a conscious shift to positivity, which is needed in the world. At Design Indaba Conference 2014, we chatted to the filmmaker and rapper about her design work, creative processes and inspirations.

Philander has always had a strong interest in history and how it has and continues to affect the lives of many. This interest has led her to explore ways in which people are able to unlearn a “Westernised system of education”.

I want to create spaces where people can engage with history in a psychological, emotional and financially, enabling people to move past bad history in a healthy way instead of sweeping it under the rug, says Philander.

The Cape Town creative further explains that in order for the world to reach a more sustainable state, people have to address the great inequalities in society on a global scale.

Philander’s work is largely based on and influenced by anger she experiences on a daily basis: “I want to transform my anger into something that is positive and productive," she explains. Believing that her biggest skill is being able to tell stories, she channels this through many mediums to break down the violence, hurt and low self esteem caused by structural racism, which she experiences and causes her anger.

The main design tool I use in all my work is empathy, says Philander.

Philander further elaborates on her creative process, which she believes is an organic, sporadic, constantly changing and evolving process: “It’s born out of real life experiences that I feel compelled to speak about," she concludes. 

Watch the Talk with Kyla Philander