Let’s face it…there are very few events worldwide that can generate such interest. Incredible to think that it all started with a group of Afro-Americans who were fed up with being called that. The colour of their skin, in their view, had nothing to do with culture. Indeed for them the opposite was true. The 2016 edition of AfroPunk Fest, last week in Brooklyn fully met expectations. The best photographers had their lenses focussed on the festival goers. All incredible. They all had some message to communicate through their style or way of life. We can’t really talk about trend setting at AfroPunk. The people you come cross there are all from very different backgrounds. Brazil, St. Louis, New York, Ivory Coast, Portugal. There is no single line to follow. Apart from free self-expression (click here for a series of elegant portraits by NBC News).
Stylists from a wide range of backgrounds, all mixed together in a melting pot with no geographical or cultural boundaries. Women wearing men’s trousers with pleats and aerobics vests. Really tall men with ankle length jeans and naif patterned T-shirts. Braces, bracelets, long socks. Amazingly colourful hairstyles. Obviously Afro style, but also the classic break dance style, heads shaved high with orthogonal shapes, framing surprisingly beautiful faces. Unexpected hair colours. The use of bright colours such as sky blue or lilac, or the granny hair now turned white was really surprising. Whoever goes up on stage at AfroPunk fest, whether it’s Lenny Kravitz or Lauren Hill, is becoming a reflection of the audience. Whoever has been will come again. If you have never been there, you should go. It’s like being in the centre of the universe. No rules, no barriers. Just the wonderful freedom to reinvent the way of making life a fantastic adventure again.
Federico Flamminio / Alessandro Di Giacomo