|PUNK IN AFRICA: Director Keith Jones and producer Jefe Brown |
at the International Film Festiva in Innsbruck
|Deon Maas |
(Photo by Rob Weedman)
Punk In Africa has been an invaluable tool for connecting musicians from different generations. As Hog Hogg Hoggidy Hog hadn’t heard the music of National Wake or Wild Youth, Wild Youth may not have known that the Hogs existed. Through Punk in Africa, people became more connected across generations, meaning that more stories were shared, ideas understood and new friendships made. This film helps musicians transcend and understand different generations as well as generation gaps in music.
This film also examines the situation under apartheid and what this meant to musicians and artists living under those absurd rules within Africa. Knowing the accounts of several individuals whom lived in South Africa shortly after the rule of apartheid ended I can only fathom what it was like to live with such rules while trying to create art in a society which laws refused to allow to homogenize. Confronting apartheid is an issue that artists from around the world should take a lesson from. Art is a labour of love and courage, artists and musicians have to rebel against the norm and break the rules to create something truly inspiring. Musicians and artists growing up under apartheid not only understood the consequences of making unique and powerful music, they also understood that this was about making something original.
Punk in Africa shows the world that drive, courage, determination and the desire to break down common rules for creativity’s sake can prove to be an exceptional combination, also when it comes down to gaining notoriety in the international film festival scene. Punk In Africa first gained press at South By Southwest 2011, and has since been at 30 different International Film Festivals including the recent New York Film Festival. It was never about money or prestige for Jones or his co-conspirator Deon Maas, rather about telling a unique diverse and original story of the underground countercultural scenes that they not only witnessed but inhabited regularly. Jones and Maas were very careful not to fall into any cliché traps with Punk In Africa; the film is 100% for Africa by Africa-keeping this mantra makes the film even more international, you do not see studded jackets and Mohawks in Punk in Africa, you hear music and understand the struggle that African culture dealt with in the times of Apartheid.
|National Wake (Photo by Robin Muir)|
When it comes down to art and artistic endeavors Keith and I both agree that artists must do things independently by yourself without compromise: try to experiment and never walk away from an idea. Don Letts (one of Keith’s mentors) stated “A good idea attempted is better than a bad Idea perfected” People should live without regret. Artists don’t need structures, money or institutions to do things in independent or unique ways, it is imperative that artists find ways to make something out of nothing.
|DVD (Czech Republic) front cover, April 2012 release|
**Jones says I need to summarize this article to end it and because he is a journalism instructor through NYU in Prague he is obligated and required to tell me this nevertheless as an artist it is my job to remind him to go “fuck himself and have a nice day” which is exactly what I did. I cannot think of a better way to end this article then on that note-sort of summarizes everything now doesn’t it?
Punk in Africa Official
Punk in Africa on Facebook
National Wake on Facebook