A few weeks ago I attended the Afropunk festival and I’ve never been to a music festival or anything comparatively festival like before so it was a new (and not at all daunting) experience. One I’m really glad to have had as there is much historical and cultural significance backing this festival that it doesn’t seem like a festival. It’s more of a celebration. Of African culture and its assimilation within the cities that they hold this event in. People rock up in garments that pays ode to their cultural lineage all whilst giving a nod to their own creative influences within contemporary culture. It’s pretty sick ass and I thought I’d just give a little historical summary on the festival, its foundings and the like in order to truly capture the soul of it.
The Afropunk festival was inspired by a documentary by James Spooner that explored the lives of black punk kids living within a predominantly white punk subculture. The documentary invoked the question of race and what it meant to be black within a predominantly white music world. Spooner’s documentary considered issues of loneliness, exile, inter-racial dating, and the double lives people of colour led within a predominantly white sub-cultured community.
A few years down the line, Afropunk – the festival, was born.
The festival, which started out as safe place for black punks to express themselves and love for the subculture through creation of a community has now extended its reaches from beyond the boundary of punk to include soul/neo-soul, as well as any form of art, culture and musical talent that is representative/represented by people of colour. It is a celebration of community, art, cultural lineage and love and care for your fellow human beings.
And although, London first put on the festival last year, the turn out for its second year was in no way insignificant or paltry. I met so many incredible people at this festival and there were so many looks servedddddd, some of which I was able to take pictures of (S/O to all of these beautiful people!)
Events are always built around the people that attend them and the creation of community at Afropunk is one of the core principles that it has excelled at. I have made friends, contacts and just had a great time in general. I honestly can’t wait to attend next year, perhaps Paris will be the next city on my horizon.