Event: Afropunk LDN
Date: 24th September 2016
Location: Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace), North London
Hours Awake: 23
Right. Afropunk 2016. Having gone to AP in Brooklyn for the past four years, bringing the festival over to London was received in anticipation. Would the relatively young festival, still carving it's roots, be successfully executed across the pond? There is no other feeling I have felt close to absorbing the Brooklyn sun and soaking in the local community in a completely inclusive space - at least that was when Afropunk entrance was free/by donation. The shift in air from ticketing the event as of last year was definitely apparent, and as the festival grows, there have been many questions around the authenticity and validity of the line ups. Considering that the majority of music consumed today is Black or of Black origin, there should be no slim-pickings when it comes to pushing Black artists (especially those with punk/rock/alternative sounds) through this platform. The line ups should feel expansive and well-researched, and if AP is to visit various cities, should create space to reflect afro, punk, and the black communities of the chosen destination. I am not 100% sold that Afropunk have achieved this, however it was undeniable that the festival highlighted the demand for inclusive spaces where the UK's black community can feel wholly free, safe and visible.
The vibe was great, and y'all know London is small anyway, so to be able to celebrate on home turf with family was a unique and cherished experience.
I've recently started working with Kay Davis, the brilliant artist from South London, and after debuting her products at Afropunk Brooklyn this August, this time around we set up stall in our city. With true family feels, some of our closest ones La Touché, Kieran, House of Alt's Ricky and Jam, Musu, Sabrina and Ocean helped us throughout the day, with support, features and pass throughs from our much loved community. The pictures below provide a window into our day (which started at 4/5AM, and ended at 3:30AM the next day for Kay and I) based around Kay's stall.
Kay and I were at Ally Pally from 10AM, and left the venue at 1:30AM. It was a long day, well worth the effort and energy, and we cannot thank our people enough for making Afropunk LDN one to always remember. I wish for nothing more than to be able to work with my family, and I give thanks that I am able to begin doing so. Have a look through the photographs below, which are a collaborative effort, and feel the vibe!
Images below captured by Kay, Ricky, Jam, and myself on Canon 60D and 5D Mark III.
Set Up, 11AM
Singer and Illustrator Elle
La Touché (Mr Hat)