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Soaking In The African Acts At Primavera Sound Festival

We sent South African-based photographer & designer Philippus Johan Schutte to Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival last weekend. Over the five days he spent exploring the festival and its crowds, Johan captured performances from the likes of Moonchild, Moses Sumney, Mbongwana Star, Orchestra Baobab, Islam Chipsy & Eek, Kamasi Washington and many more.


Browse through Philippus Johan Schutte's photos from Primavera and read some of his own words about what he encountered below

"Guided from the underground train station almost automatically by the annual sardine run of festival go-ers pining for the Primavera Sound, our foreign venue slopes upwards ahead of us: the concrete monolith that is Parc Del Forum, with its ocean-side auditoriums and unusually good-looking solar panel structure.

By South African standards, this is an intimidating venue: mess it up and everybody will remember, but if it's great, even just once, you're in the midst of a legend as it unfolds. From the music to the beach to the food to the people to the views to the weather to the surprises to expectations, Primavera Sound, with its goofy, wavy sign at the entrance, manages to make it all seem casual, accessible and uniquely of its environment: this is the start of summer in Barcelona.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

For a music festival renowned for getting some of the biggest alternative acts in the world to perform on the shores of Barcelona, it says something of its character to also remember the older ones and consider the newest.

I’m talking about a not-so-little Cuban-influenced Senegalese band from the 1970s called Orchestra Baobab bringing the genre as if it was discovered yesterday; I’m talking about a workout performance by South African-by-way-of-Port-Elizabeth singer Moonchild Sanelly, with blue locks suspended in the air like anenome; the Sun Ra-channeling Kamasi Washington readying the audience for an interstellar jazz odyssey; the full Congotronic sound of the very Mbongwana Star, all the way from Kinshasha; the starlight in the daytime loneliness of Moses Sumney; Nao’s convincing argument for why she should be your girlfriend; Ho9909 (pronounced “horror”) laying down their claim that Death Grips do not own their genre; Vince Staples getting a crowd to “fuck tha police”; Islam Chipsy & EEK's almost maddeningly taunting stop-start Egyptian techno, turning the whole floor into an unhinged Arab wedding reception—the list goes on.

Whatever Primavera has, it has a lot of it, more, and then some. On the last day, full-blown flu settling after three 6am exertions for the sake of audio, I am cracked open like the hatching egg emoji — broken, yet born again; a newfound enthusiasm for live music." —Philippus Johan Schutte

Primavera Sound. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Primavera Sound. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Mbongwana Star. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Mbongwana Star. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Mbongwana Star. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Mbongwana Star. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Mbongwana Star. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Moses Sumney. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Moonchild. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Moonchild. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Primavera Sound. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Nao. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Primavera Sound. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Kamasi Washington and his band. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Kamasi Washington and his band. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Kamasi Washington and his band. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Orchestra Baobab. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Islam Chipsy & EEK. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Islam Chipsy & EEK. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Primavera Sound. Photography by Philippus Johan Schutte.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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