Photo by Andiswa Mkosi.

Smoke break on the dance floor at The Third Place.

Andy Mkosi’s Photo Essay ‘Mid-Groove’ Documents Joburg’s Party Scene

Get inside Joburg's party scene through Andiswa Mkosi's stunning images of Joburg party goers and performers mid-groove.

South Africa is currently on level two of its lockdown enforced to combat the spread of Covid-19. During level two, all "economic activity" is allowed, but partying and clubbing are still out of the picture as gatherings of more than 50 people are still understandably prohibited.

South African multimedia storyteller Andy Mkosi's photo essay Mid-Groove consists of monochrome images she made in 2019 of Joburg's party scene before the pandemic hit. South Africans "groove" hard, and the photo essay shows people in all stages of groove and captures artists on stage and deejays in their booths.

"Mid-Groove aims to document cultural spaces where South African meet to have fun and party. When attending events or club scenes, my mission is to find quiet moments in those busy spaces," says Mkosi.

"These are images made at events and club spaces in Johannesburg. They largely focus on the music and party scene of the city. The images were made with consideration of women and the LGBTQI community and how they are represented. They tell of the characters who are there to enjoy the music and the energy at the spaces. And purely presents beautiful moments mid-mgroovo."

Treyvone Moo, founder of Le Grande Ball, getting ready to walk the ramp during "The Festish Ball" at the Tennis Club. Held a day before Johannesburg Pride, the event is an important date in the LGBTQIA+ community of South Africa and provides a critical space for the community. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Humphrey Ndebele, Khotso Rams,Tsepo Kgathlane and Debbie Molefe pose together during "The Fetish Ball". Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Model/artist Ponahalo "Pona" Mojapelo dancing at a Surreal Electronica event at Kitcheners. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

A party goer standing in the middle of the dance floor at Tennis Club. The event hosted on the night was a collaboration between the establishment Tennis Club and event organising company KOP JHB.Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Feet of party goers on the dance floor at Kitcheners during Surreal Electronica, an event curated by musician Jackie Queens. Surreal Electronica celebrates deep house musicians and deejays particularly those who identify within the queer spectrum and as womxn.Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Groovers on the dance floor at The Third Place in Newtown. On the night KOP was hosting their last event for 2019. The night had two stages, live graffiti art, games and heavy entertainment. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

A couple stands in the centre of the dance floor dancing to tunes at The Third Place in Newtown. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

A groover enjoying a moment of music in the corner of the club at The Third Place. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Rolling a joint mid-groove at The Third Place in Newtown.Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Groovers share a bunt and conversations mid-groove at The Third Place in Newtown. Photo by Andy Mkosi.

A couple enjoys music at Surreal Electronica.Photo by Andy Mkosi.

Crowd of groovers on the dancefloor at The Third Place in Newtown. Photo by Andy Mkosi.


Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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