Marcelo Brociner '18 found his flow at Brandeis

The anthropology and international and global studies major is also a budding hip-hop artist

Marcelo BrocinerPhoto/Mike Lovett

Marcelo Brociner '18

During the second semester of his freshman year, Marcelo Brociner was captivated by a large blank wall in a bathroom located near his favorite study spot in Farber Library. 

He was always tempted to draw on it, and one day he finally caved in and began to fill the wall with a mural. It took a total of 20 hours over the span of two weeks to fill the entire wall.

Soon after the mural was complete, the library staff left a note on the wall, asking to speak with him. 

"I thought they might be mad, so I contacted them from a fake email address. To my pleasant surprise, they told me  they wanted to find a space where all students could do it, so we spent nine months working on just that," Brociner said. 

Now there's an entire corridor called "Express Yo Self" around the corner from the circulation desk of the library where students can take a break from their work and draw or write messages.

Brociner, a Somerville, Mass. native, is an anthropology and international and global studies double major who is minoring in creativity, the arts and social transformation. He's also a budding hip-hop mogul.

He took some time to talk about his Brandeis experience with BrandeisNOW:

Why does Brandeis fit you?

From the beginning I felt very comfortable being on campus. Whatever I wanted to pursue I knew Brandeis would support me. I think Brandeis largely lets its students run the school. I'm not talking like mayhem or anything like that – I mean that students’ ideas are heard and their ideas are implemented. 

The library's response to the mural I made told me that Brandeis was definitely the place for me, because they supported self-expression. And as an artist that's the most important thing to me.

What do you nerd out about?

I nerd out about writing lyrics and songs. I'm a hip-hop recording artist and I've filled 22 journals with rap lyrics. They are my most prized possessions. I've become so obsessed with rhyme schemes and flows, and I've recorded over 70 tracks. It's very therapeutic, and it brings me so much joy.

Who is the professor or instructor who has had the biggest impact on you?

Cynthia Cohen at the International Center for Ethics. During my freshman year I took the first-ever intro class for Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation. We had to do an oral history project where we interviewed someone and then told their story through an artistic medium, and so I interviewed the incredible Mohamed Sidique. I created a time lapse video of a drawing I made that was symbolic of Mohamed’s story while I recited a poem about his story, climaxing with the overlapping of the poem with the drawing. Amongst many things, the course taught me to be an active listener. So often today people aren't really listening, they are just waiting to speak next.

What has been your best experience outside the classroom?

That’s such an unfair question!

If I had to choose, it’d be my time so far with Basement Records, which is the premier student run record label at Brandeis. Avi Hirshbein (class of 2019) started it when he was a freshman, and he asked me to be the VP earlier this year. I was really honored and it’s exciting what we're putting together. We work with musicians at Brandeis and help them hone and further develop their artistic identity, and we work with them on promotion, production and branding. We're trying to make it so Brandeis artists can be heard on a global scale.

We're rebuilding the studio in the basement of the library right now, and it will be open for the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, so watching it develop into a full-blown studio is exciting. We owe a big shout out to Mark Dellelo at the Getz Media Lab for being so enthused about the mission of Basement, and we look forward to bringing more students to the Getz Media Lab as a whole. 

Marcelo Brociner '18 was a 2016 Sorensen Fellow.

Categories: Alumni, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Student Life

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