The hip-hop beats of rappers Bataclan 1950 reverberate around the stairwells and corridors. In Chelas nha Kau this group of friends from Lisbon use their music to offer a glimpse into the life of the Chelas neighborhood—and they’re frequently found behind the camera too.
From 2016 to 2019, the production house Bagabaga Studios worked with Bataclan 1950 on an honest portrait of daily life in Chelas. In improvised sessions, these young people rap about poverty, racism, love for their hood, and their pent-up anger. A video they make for one of their tracks becomes a YouTube hit.
The outside world has all sorts of preconceptions about Chelas, so life isn’t easy there. Pizza couriers don’t deliver here, and the police crack down so hard that kids are distrustful of them from a very young age. But all that’s counterbalanced by plenty of support, understanding, and solidarity among themselves.