News

Johannesburg Creatives Bambatha Jones, l.e.b.o & Size Mbiza's 'Gate Keepers' Photo Series

South African creatives Bambatha Jones, l.e.b.o & Size Mbiza question the tastemakers of global youth culture in their 'Gate Keepers' photos

All images courtesy of Bambatha Jones, l.e.b.o, and Size Mbiza


Gate Keepers is a two-part "paradoxical photo series" collaboration from South African fashion students and photomakers Bambatha Jones, l.e.b.o and Size Mbiza. Featuring models dressed in the functional attire often associated with what the photographers refer to as blue collar citizens in South Africa, the shadowy photos intend to comment on the impact that "cultural gatekeepers," like Ian Connor, Kanye West, and the ASAP Mob, have on youth culture across the globe.

For this new series, the Johannesburg-based trio re-imagined security guards as the tastemakers of global youth culture. "We've made use of clothing pieces that are not necessarily 'fashionable' in South Africa," Jones told us over email. "We deliberately chose the uniform of a security guard and fused it with sports-luxe elements to question the existence of tastemakers in society. Do culture influencers help consumers purchase the correct products on the market or are they just mere walking advertisements of leading brands? The sequel of the story taps into current macro-trends and is extended as the night-shift of the gatekeeper."

Read a detailed statement on the Gate Keepers series below. For more, head to Bambatha Jones' Tumblr.

For many years, popular youth culture has thrived by means of various consumers subscribing to specific lifestyles that see them identify themselves within specific subcultures or style tribes. Subsequently, in this very day and age we are often bombarded with tons of information, let alone products in the market which all seem perfectly reliable and most sustainable. Culture influencers often find a way to filter the overflow of information and resources intended for consumers to make belonging easier for the individual.

“Gatekeepers” is a paradox photographic series collaboratively shot, directed and post produced by friends Bambatha Jones, l.e.b.o and Size Mbiza. The sequence comments on the influence that taste makers have in the pre-selection and opinion of fashion items within pop culture. Its paradoxical nature comes in the form of a location “fashion editorial” which has models dressed in functional clothing pieces which are often associated with blue collar South African citizens. Inherently this makes cultural gatekeepers security guards who look out for new trends that are then trickled up or down.

As a result, “cool” goes through inspection and approval comes in the form of an instagram post, or articles that confirm specific trends as stylish, making reference to these tastemakers (this is also known as the co-sign). But does this mean that society loses a lot of cultural diversity or is cultural gatekeeping just the work of a lower class citizen?

popular
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Netflix Launches 'Netflix Naija' and Announces First Nigerian Original Series

Netflix is stepping up its game in Nigeria.

After much anticipation, Netflix has announced its presence in Nigeria.

Yesterday, the streaming giant, which had been procuring Nigerian content throughout much of last year after acquiring Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart in 2018, announced the arrival of Netflix Naija with a new Twitter account.

"N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood,"read the account's announcement tweet. "N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you're looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly...hello, Nigeria!"

The tweet was shared along with a photo of some of the Nigerian film industry's most notable actors and filmmakers, including Banky W, Adesua Etomi, Kunle Folayan, Kemi Adetiba, Omoni Oboli as well as veteran actors Ramsey Nouah and Richard Mofe-Damijo and several others.

Keep reading...
popular
Still from YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

The buzzing Nigerian artists shares a catchy new banger.

Buzzing Nigerian artist Rema shares his first single and music video of the year "Beamer (Bad Boys)."

The track is the first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssianm, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing of their love for "bad boys."

The steely music video features several love interests and flashy cars as Rema moves through the city on an undisclosed mission. The video features crisp, scenic shots directed by Fxrbes.

Keep reading...
popular
"Zion 9, 2018" (inkjet on Hahnemuhle photo rag)" by Mohau Modisakeng. Photo courtesy of Jenkins Johnson Gallery.

South African Artist Mohau Modisakeng Makes Solo NYC Debut With 'A Promised Land'

The artist will present the video installation 'ZION' and other works centering on the "global history of displacement of Black communities" at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in Brooklyn.

Renowned South African visual artist Mohau Modisakeng presents A Promised Land, his latest solo exhibition, opening at Brooklyn's Jenkins Johnson Gallery this month. This marks the New York debut of Modisakeng's ZION video installation, based on the artists's 2017 performance art series by the same name. It originally debuted at the Performa Biennial.

"In ZION the artist deals with the relationship between body, place and the global history of displacement of Black communities," reads a press release. "There is an idea that all people are meant to belong somewhere, yet in reality there are millions of people who are unsettled, in search of refuge, migrating across borders and landscapes for various reasons."

In addition to the video, the show also features seven large-scale photographs that communicate themes of Black displacement. From 19th century Black settlements in New York City, which as the press release notes, were eradicated to clear space for the development of Central Park, to the scores of Africans who have faced conflict that has led them to life as refugees in foreign lands.

Keep reading...
Audio
Rema in "Beamer (Bad Boys)" (Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela, Sarkodie, Rema, Costa Titch x Riky Rick x AKA and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.