AFROPUNK FEST is a musical festival held in Brooklyn, New York City. It started in 2005. More than ten years later the festival has grown and expanded to other states and countries. It is a movement of music, art and self-expression..
AFROPUNK FEST started out as an avenue for African-Americans in the Punk Rock community who wanted a place to express their sub culture. The festival founded by Director James Spooner and Mathew Morgan. The music festival is named after a documentary James Spooner directed in 2003 called Afro-Punk.
Afro-Punk is a 66-minute documentary. At its root, the film explored race identity within the predominantly white punk scene. A glimpse of a Trinidad and Tobago flag is seen in the documentary.
James Spooner, as reported because of philosophical differences, in 2008 discontinued his involvement in the festival. The festival continues to evolve to include other genres of music, art and food. It was once a free music festival but now organizers charge an entry fee. I paid approx. $50.00 US per ticket.
I heard about AFROPUNK FEST from my friends and was intrigued and wanted to experience something different. I am fascinated by street fashion photography and on my last trip to NY it was hard to experience and capture, in main stream America, unique fashion from Afrocentric subcultures. I planned my trip to New York around attending AFROPUNK.
The fashion at AFROPUNK can not be defined as one genre. It was not about main stream fashion or conformity but choice and personal aesthetic. I think for some, although their dress at AFROPUNK may not be their daily wear, it was their way for that weekend to express their inner ego… how they want to feel and how they identify themselves be it bohemian, punk, urban, cosplay , modern, futuristic, afro-centric or in some cases a combination of all…
Though AFROPUNK didn’t feel like it was about Punk Rock, it definitely felt like it continues to be a voice for underground artists, subcultures, brands, groups and movements. It was surreal to see a convergence of different styles in one place. People from all walks of life was enjoying the festivities.
We will continue our AFROPUNK Festival series with more albums from our experience.
Photographer: Tewelde Daniel, Medhin Photography based in New Jersey/New York
Assistant Photographer & Editor : Tameika Fletcher-Birmingham