AFROPUNK – a term used to describe someone of African American descent who prescribes to a counter-culture asthetic.
Urban dictionary definition
I attended Afropunk London held at The Printworks in Surrey Quays in July, thanks to my good friend Seph, who was able to get VIP tickets for the gang for the Saturday. I had always wanted to go to Afropunk ever since I had read about it in some now forgotten obscure magazine years ago but alas I did not at that time have the means to whip myself to Afropunk Brooklyn where this event originated. Since its origins in 2005 it has expanded to both Paris and London.
This was the second time it was being held in the UK and I was so excited to go and to push the boundaries on my otherwise boring and conservative dressing sometimes lol. I was excited to bring out my inner creative Afropunk vibes! I can’t say I could really truly compete with the fashionistas that were on display at this event but you know I tried 😊
So what is Afropunk?
Its a music and arts festival with a twist, originally celebrating the black punk subculture. It has certainly changed over years to incorporate more genres but still reflecting African American culture. Its history and development (have a read here) over the years is interesting and not without its upsets with the original founder leaving as it changed from what he originally intended for it.
Location, Location, Location
The Printworks was a fab location for this festival – indoors to cater for our ‘oh so British Summer’ (it sadly rained heavily that day) and an outdoors area if the sun showed its face (it didn’t). It was such a huge space for one to weave from room to room, stall to stall, stage to stage and just see all that was on offer at your leisure. There were two stages featuring the performers.
What was there this year?
On display at Afropunk was amazing art, black owned/African inspired businesses selling their wares, food and of course the amazing artists.
JME the little brother of Skepta and hailed as the London grime hero got the crowd well and truly pumped up with his musical offering.
The musical highlight for me was Corinne Bailey Rae and I enjoyed singing along with her (not necessarily in tune though!)
I must say I was disappointed with the selection of food on offer at the venue, sadly overpriced and personally I do not think there were enough vendors in proportion to how many attended the event. There were long queues for food (I think I waited an hour) and because located outside this involved waiting in the rain. No one likes queuing for food and its even worse if the food is not anything to write home about.
What I really liked the most at this year’s Afropunk was just admiring everyone’s style! I love getting hair and style ideas from my everyday world rather than magazines and Afropunk provided a plenty of things to see. People sure are creative!
I got to bump into my doctor friend Annabel and we got to chat over her recent life changing decision to dye her ‘Fro purple. I actually don’t jest about it, for black girls dyeing our ‘Fro is a big thing! I absolutely love her purple ‘Fro and wish I had the guts to do it! She is truly rocking it!
I also met the Brazilian Bahian beauty, Maga Moura as I waited patiently for food (the only good thing about the queue). She is a fashion blogger whose ever changing multi-coloured hairstyles I have admired and seen over Instagram. She is super friendly and I got chatting with her about my love of Salvador in Brazil and she told me she was born there but now lives in Sao Paulo. She had been jetsetting to all the different Afropunks around the world and sharing all the fun she had over social media – go check her out!
All in all I had a great time hanging with my tribe – aren’t they gorgeous? Here is to more Afropunking with you gals x
Hope you get to check out Afropunk next year! Maybe next year I can make it to Paris or Brooklyn!