Afropunk Festival: What is it about and why is it being held in South Africa?

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Afropunk is a celebration of all things black

Afropunk is a global celebration of love and all things black.

On Dec 30, 2017, thousands and thousands of people will gather at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg in South Africa.

The event is the Afropunk Festival. The event is scheduled to feature a woke line up of  Solange Knowles, Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals and others.

What is Afropunk Festival and why does it matter? In October of 2016, I wrote that "Afropunk festival which originally started in New York now takes place in London and Paris is more than a music event. It is more designed to create a cultural experience for black people."

 

Wikipedia succinctly describes it as "an annual arts festival that celebrates and unifies the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK through music, film, skate, and art."

The maiden Afropunk Festival started in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York City. In a dozen years, it has spread its tentacles to Paris, Atlanta and London. The festival has become a meeting point for artsy, creative people of colour with a vibe that is not aligned with mainstream tastes and influences. In short, it is a festival for woke people, to hang out, chill, part, have fun and vibe.

 

In case you are wondering why South Africa, well the rainbow nation has always been receptive to movements that colour outside the lines. Solange who is a headliner at this year's event shot a video in Cape Town five years ago.

Reclusive rapper Mos Def has turned South Africa into his adopted native home although without its own legal troubles.

 

"We go where we have community and we go where people want us,” festival co-founder Jocelyn Cooper tells Quartz Africa. “We’ve wanted to be on the continent, we love the culture in South Africa and we have a lot of contributors to our site who are there."

 

Africa doesn't play host to many youth festivals so Afropunk in SA this year is more than welcome. Since Nigeria does not have its own youth festival of yet although there are encouraging signs, you might just want to get on a plane to South Africa and catch the groove.



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