The AFROPUNK Festival, an iconic global cultural movement with homes in New York, Atlanta, London and Paris is finally coming to Jo'burg too! The first batch of performers who’ll take part in the inaugural festival, which will take place on December 30-31, were announced by Sal Masekela at a bash featuring the finest in SA culture at Constitution Hill’s Women’s Jail last night. Among the artists who will be performing at AFROPUNK Joburg are Solange, Anderson Paak, Laura Mvula, King Tha vs. Blk Jks, Theo Parrish, The Brother Moves On, Spoek Mathambo, Black Motion, Gods Sons & Daughters, Manthe Ribane & OKZharp, DJ Lag, Urban Village, Nakhane Toure, Nonku Phiri and TCIYF, with more performers set to be announced. Thandiswa Mazwai (a.k.a. King Tha) & The Blk Jks, Manthe Ribane, Themba Lunacy and DJ Doowap were on the roll of performers at the launch last night.
The festival co-creator Matthew Morgan says, “Thoughtful curation sees house, kwaito, punk, hip-hop, soul, reggae, roots, pop and other genres all a part of the AFROPUNK Johannesburg celebration that will culminate in an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party in this awesome African city.”
The move to Johannesburg is a natural fit in line with AFROPUNK’s desire to make connections throughout the Diaspora, creating bonds between those with a shared mindset. The AFROPUNK mindset is less concerned with genres and pigeonholes, than the strength and unity of otherness. Modern South Africa is proof of the victory of otherness over historical precedent, and of the country's desire to mold a society based on virtues that are at the core of AFROPUNK.
This year’s AFROPUNK theme is WE THE PEOPLE, and it is reflected in the musical lineup as well as the food, art and style marketplace aspects of AFROPUNK. “The theme of WE THE PEOPLE, a phrase that begins both the American and South African constitutions, and was chosen specifically to coincide with AFROPUNK’s first outing in Johannesburg which makes the Constitution Hill venue even more poignant“ says Matthew Morgan.
More artists will be announced for the AFROPUNK Joburg lineup in the build-up towards the December event. In the meantime, people are encouraged to buy tickets here. Attendees are also encouraged to become a part of the AFROPUNK community, engaging with its pop-up art installations and marketplace stalls. It’s about creating an extended family of AFROPUNK, with a united voice to be heard and celebrated.
We, the people have a code: