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The graffiti documentary Style Wars is one of the most essential films that any true Hip-Hop fan should watch if they haven’t done so yet. The seminal film celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the New York Public Library recognized the importance of this milestone by holding a screening and a panel discussion that included one the filmmakers, Henry Chalfant.

The screening and panel discussion went down on Wednesday March 20, and  was presented by the NYPL for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in conjunction with Rhapsodic City: Music  of New York series. Rhapsodic City examines the emergence of genres of music in NYC like Punk, Mambo and Hip-Hop. Also on hand for the panel, which was held at the for the post-screening discussion was noted artist Carlos MARE139 Rodriguez, who was featured as a young graf writer in the film.

“It’s graphic design. One of the things that was really important for us to learn was how to be good graphic designers. With these tools, limited paint, limited time and so on,”  said MARE139.”So there was this whole knowledge base around everything that we did. This goes for breaking, this goes for DJ’ing, this goes for rapping, too. It’s in that same academy mentality.”

By the time the screening started, the Bruno Walter Auditorium was jam packed with curious attendees and old school graf writers in the audience. Check out a few photos from the event in the gallery.

The next Hip-Hop focused event is a celebration of women in Hip-Hop (“Fresh, Bold, and So Def Women in Hip-Hop”) and goes down tomorrow (Saturday, March 22) at the The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.

Photos: Elizabeth Perlmutter

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