In a year that has given more questions than answers, more mourning than cause for celebration and more chaos than calm — AFROPUNK is bringing together the largest virtual gathering of the worldwide Black creative community in one curated online space, for the first time in its 15 year history. The world has been hurting everywhere-everywhere and as people continue to rally as they have been with an anciently tireless spirit since the beginning of the year, the world-renowned festival and movement is using technology to bring us PLANET AFROPUNK 2020. As both the theme and destination of this year’s Black cultural explosion, the digital festival will be taking place from October 23 to October 25. Afropunk has created a virtual global hub with exciting artists, entrepreneurs, activists, speakers and social justice warriors to curate a space for the global Black community to interrogate, explore and celebrate the depth and breath of Blackness and its conditions in this world. A digitally fabricated multiverse of, from and for Blackness—offering collectively held joy, while paying homage to the reality that the upheavals experienced over the course of 2020 are far from novel. They have been central to the Black experience across space and time; they are not conditions of the “current times” but of All Times.
Being Black on planet earth is like science fiction… With the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others, we have seen the pain and trauma of the past resurrected, and all while suffering through a global pandemic. But, as Black people, our unity and creativity are our greatest weapon against oppression and adversity. To convene a global family reunion at this moment in time is therefore essential. Now more than ever we need the resilience and creativity of our community to keep our culture alive and thriving. In creating PLANET AFROPUNK we’ve designed a safe space for our community to celebrate and inspire, cry and shout, and to heal and motivate one another. AFROPUNK’s approach to activism and fighting oppression has always been to celebrate Black music, art and culture – and ultimately Black joy. The AFROPUNK community is global, and we’ve built this planet to connect seamlessly. All across the world we are connecting in sameness and in difference to discover the joy in our Blackness, but also in the visual and musical artists and authors. And this is what AFROPUNK enables.
Said strategic adviser at AFROPUNK, Nichelle Sanders speaking about PLANET AFROPUNK. With acts such as Ari Lennox, Mereba, Mzansi’s very own Bongeziwe Mabandla and Elaine. Alongside others such as DUCKWRTH and Sampa the Great to name but a few the digital festival itself is conceptualised as a fluid space designed to embrace the plurality of Black stories and individualities that are experienced through Black music, art, conversation and activism, across borders and continents. With space curated to explore everything from politics and social justice, meditation and Black self-care, PLANET AFROPUNK will be a completely free virtual experience for its entire global audience and community, made possible its significant amount of brand partners for this year who will power the festival’s iconic digital destinations. Festival goers will also be given an option to donate money to organisations including Black Futures Lab, Color of Change, Movement for Black Lives, Equal Justice Initiative, Fair Count, and The Bail Project among others. Music, art, supporting Black-owned businesses and in-depth conversations will be the foundation of this global community’s three-day virtual festival envisioned from and for collective Black joy and community—in words of Maxwell, “it’s a reunion”.
The festival will be streamed at PLANETAFROPUNK.com with exclusive content on Facebook Livefrom October 23 to October 25.
Details on how to register can be found at PLANETAFROPUNK.com.