Massih Hutak, 26

Massih Hutak is a 26-year-old former high school teacher, musician, and writer from the Northside of Amsterdam, originally from Afghanistan. First published at 19, he is a writer for several newspapers, magazines, online blogs, and radio, and has taught Dutch and Sociology. Named one of the 17 young talents that will shape the future of the Netherlands, Hutak believes hip-hop is the answer to all the world’s problems. By finding the intersection between different cultures and influences, and by using those differences to create new music, hip-hop has always been a culture of uniting. This model of inclusivity is an inspiration for Hutak, inviting him to examine and challenge language to express our humanity, or the lack of it.

Hutak feels a great responsibility to protect the freedom and democracy in the Netherlands and to pass it onto future generations. He feels that this is the biggest challenge young people face in the West: how willing are we to preserve freedom and democracy for the future? In 2017, with the help of the Dutch hip-hop community, Hutak organized a !METS, a campaign that encouraged young people to educate themselves, organize, and act. Hutak is currently spending his time working on his first novel and first television show, and giving lectures about freedom, tolerance, and activism in high schools and universities.