Afropunk Fest London is back for the second year and is set to top last year with the lineup and all the people who missed out! Afro-Punk has been described as the “new counter culture” keeping us up to date on alternative fashion, Art and Politics from the perspective of a PoC – but it’s not new, it’s been around for almost 14 years. Born in 2003 from a movie, the first annual Afropunk Fest wasn’t until a few years later in 2005 and has evolved into a movement that I don’t think even its originators could have envisaged.
It’s with the help of social media – and Afropunk Fests coming to cities they’ve never been to before- that people get to see and experience what Afropunk is – the ever existing array of alternative PoC that you would never have known existed otherwise. With their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles attracting hundreds of thousands of followers that’s undoubtedly increasing year after year.
I remember at the end of the first Afropunk in London last year, the organisers saying (and I’m paraphrasing) “This is for the black kid that was the only black kid in their white group of friends or told that they spoke “too white” to hang around the other black kids.” It’s just ironic that those kids that were ostracised back then are the “cool kids” now – the trendsetters… if appearances were a competition they’d be the reigning undefeated champions of embracing their individuality and their blackness…
To celebrate London’s 2nd AfroPunkFest this weekend coming, take a look at some memorable moments from over the years. First, here’s your homework! Afro Punk: The Movie and the reason why people are flocking in their droves to experience Afropunk in their city and travelling to others.
2017 – This year’s London Fest line up are the likes of; The Internet, Willow Smith, Thundercat, NAO, Saul Williams, Nadia Rose, Little Simz, SATE to name a few.
But I am really excited about is Gal-dem’s art installation. Gal-dem who have been going from strength to strength in gaining notoriety and visibility for themselves and who definitely gets salute from AZ Mag! “They’re a creative collective and magazine (online and in print) comprised of over 70 women and non-binary people of colour.” We love what they stand for and what they’re doing.
2016 – The Inaugural Afro Punk Fest in London where MIA’s headlining appearance was rightly cancelled and replaced by none other than Grace Jones after her views on BLM did the rounds on the interwebs.. Nothing can touch watching an icon perform but there were also some real gems who performed last year like, Laura Mavula, Cakes Da Killa, Lady Lashurr, Kwabbs, MNEK, Hannah Faith’s set and The Soulection set by Joe Kay.
2015 – Cakes Da Killa and Princess Nokia
2014 – D’angelo
2013 -Danny Brown
2012 – Erykah Badu and the Cannabinoids
2010 – Bad Brains
2009 – Saul Williams