Afropunk Joburg 2018, A Reflection

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The clouds hung too heavy, inevitably charging a release of showers right through to the new year. Perhaps a washing away of 2018 or a gloomy projection of 2019. 

We are at the cusp of a new year, grey skies are hovering and I pace my excitement like a leopard too scared to leap after it’s been injured several times. 2018 did that!

Nonetheless, the air is electric, I am at AfroPunk Joburg and although I arrived too late to experience the striking aesthetics boldly associated with the event, I quickly realize that some fashion truly does not need daylight to pull focus, it is still as piercing in the dark, if not more.

Various personalities flood the historical site that is Constitutional Hill, a place whose backbone lies in fractured, painful realities. It is both inspiring and jarring -t he changing narrative that we have now strewn on Con Hill, both artistically and somewhat politically. There lies an unmatched bravery in reclaiming a space and completely subverting its meaning to correct the ill markings of a misconstrued/manipulated story. We have taken charge now, we are writing our own history.

Image: I See A Different You

Image: I See A Different You

 

There hangs in the air an energy of revival, our revolution is not riddled with bullets and spilled blood as a backdrop. Our voices ring loud as the struggle songs that carried our forefathers and mothers to a perceived liberation, only, we seek the true realization of freedom. One such way that we etch closer to this reality is through our boundless creative exploration and what better way to affect the people than through some good tunes.

The scintillating amalgamation of past paraphernalia with a funky, almost futuristic sound presents a colorful landscape of symphony that forges not only a fresh musical identity but adds to a new wave of youth dynamic. Muzi‘s set fittingly follows what was an energy-filled traditional music group that aptly set the tone for his majestic set ushering the crowd into the new year. With most of his set excitedly walking us down memory lane with the likes of Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special and a snippet of the chorus to one of South Africa’s fondest comedy series ‘Sgud S’nice’, I find myself both spiritually and physically moved, if you will.

I further observe hints of grounded traditional movement that are met with bopping heads and intense enjoyment, almost transporting one to an alternative universe. We are mad with excitement, we sing along to struggle songs, not in agony or despair but almost like an acknowledgement of the past as we work our way through our own shortcomings. Muzi’s style of music reaches beyond just an audio sensory level but presents an entire experience laced with nostalgic future beats.
He takes us back to the future with his almost intellectual intertwining of authentic local sound with a refreshing boost of alternative atmospheric beats.

Images Copyright © 2007 – 2018 Ryan Purcell, All Rights Reserved :: www.ryanpurcell.com

Images Copyright © 2007 – 2018 Ryan Purcell, All Rights Reserved :: www.ryanpurcell.com

The clouds hung too heavy, inevitably charging a release of showers right through to the new year. Perhaps a washing away of 2018 or a gloomy projection of 2019, either way, let’s make the leap and charge forward boldly and bravely.

Compliments of the new season!