Spoek Mathambo Shares Video for Joy Division 'Control' Cover

Watch a music video for Spoek Mathambo's cover of the Joy Division song "Control," from director Pieter Hugo and DP Michael Cleary.

Spoek Mathambo is the latest of the new afrofuturists from South Africa. Covering Joy Division's classic "She's Lost Control" (also covered by Jamaican-born afrofuturist predecessor Grace Jones shortly after its release), Spoek applies the Sankofa principle by learning from the teachings of the past to go forward to get across his idea of a scary not too distant future. Director Pieter Hugo and DP Michael Cleary's stark black & white images shot in South Africa are the perfect company to Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis' bleak lyrics. Fire, water torture, ritualistic township zombie children and Spoek's clean white suit are just part of a wicked show heaped on the viewer, shown in quickly edited staccato images. This video is one to come back to again and again for meaning, and Spoek's bassy-hard Afro Tech House take on the track adds to an effective punishing assault on the senses.
Image courtesy of Peintre Obou.

Ivorian Artist Peintre Obou Speaks on Expression Through His Masked Characters

Peintre Obou talks about how he came to be an artist, his fervour for the mask, and his uplifting project, 'Abobo E Zo'.

Gbais Obou Yves Fredy better known as Peintre Obou is an Ivorian artist whose work is centered around the political-military crisis in his home. To date, his career has been an exploration of his passion for the human condition and the traumas he has experienced as a result of human-orchestrated disasters. He goes as far as highlighting life in the slums and the individuals who opened their arms to him in the lowly communes of Abidjan. He distinctively distorts the faces of his subjects with masks and places vibrant colors upon their bodies as he weaves tales of war, trauma, suffering, and oppression.

Last summer, the Ivorian commune of Abobo underwent renovation in a project titled, Abobo E Zo commissioned by the Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Not only were downtrodden areas within the community rehabilitated and sanitized but multiple buildings around the populous commune were painted to the delight of residents. It was street art set on enlightening a disadvantaged community piloted by Obou with help from hundreds of crafty volunteers.

This interview was conducted in French and has been translated and edited for length and clarity.

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