Staccato stabs erupt between creviced creases of the mountainous form. Backlit by blue skies, institutional columns stem forth. Symmetrical colonial stone is foregrounded by five womxn. The iconic campus of tertiary education was the site of recent student protests – a rupturing ripple that will resist all forms of erasure. The figures stand armed, in formation. Assault rifles extend from arms held high. Donned in a uniform of 70’s chic – highwaisted trousers and cropped shirts. These are The Foxy Five. A living legacy.
Jabu Nadia Newman is redefining the terrain of identity politics in the South African context. As born-free filmmaker and founder of the The Foxy Five she has created a web series that fictions the narrative of five womxn who stand at a metaphorical crossroad – the ideological intersection between race, gender, class, sexuality and other axes of power and oppression.
She says, “I’m interested in showing a new view of what it means to be an African, while being open to the fact that I’m still figuring it out for myself” In this way, the discourse around identity politics is emanating internally – dismantling prescriptive external boundaries.
In depicting the lived experiences of five womxn – expressed visually through Womxn We, Blaq Beauty, Unity Bond, Femme Fatal and Prolly Plebs – Newman reclaims the space of representation – a crucial element in redefining and exploring nuanced conceptions of identity. Shifted modes of power are used in this Post-Colonial context to reimagine an alternative to a white-washed historical narrative.
Using the rhetoric of intersectionality and “Africa for Africans” The Foxy Five march on. A powerful stance is struck; their gaze meets you head on. An assurance in position is executed with military precision. You are left only to stare down a barrel of a gun.
“This time we’re gonna make sure we’re the ones running the shots”
Watch episode 1 of The Foxy Five below.
1 J.Hunkin. (2016) Janu Nadia Newman: Intersectionality with a side of pop culture. Between 10&5 http://10and5.com/2016/06/16/jabu-nadia-newman-intersectionality-with-a-side-of-pop-culture/