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South African Photographer Anthony Bila's Dystopian Johannesburg Street Culture

South African photographer Anthony Bila (The Expressionist) imagines dystopian Johannesburg street culture with his latest series, disˈtōpēə.

When last we heard from Anthony Bila (aka The Expressionist) he was commemorating the 1950s in Soweto with the third installment of his Black History March series. Now, the South African artist and street style photographer has shared his latest project, a conceptual shoot in Johannesburg which he collaborated on with designer Didi Simelane. With disˈtōpēə, Bila imagines street culture in a gloomy, near "futuristic" Joburg.


"I conceptualised this shoot with designer Did Simelane, who has a penchant for futuristic landscape that are simultaneously from the future and the present, because in reality, there is no, future, the future is now," Bila explained in an email. "I looked for location in and around Johannesburg that would lend themselves to complimenting this idea and Didi's clothes." He added, "I also imagined that we are not far off from a dystopian reality with the world in socio-political turmoil at every turn, so this was the basis for the editorial: disˈtōpēə, which by definition is, an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one."

For more from Anthony Bila, see his 2015 volume of Black History March, plus his "20 Faces of Joburg Street Culture" from STR.CRD 2013. Keep up with The Expressionist on Facebook, InstagramTumblr, and Twitter.

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Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.


Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.


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