Back in 2003, I commissioned an article, for TRACE Magazine, on a nascent movement called “Afro Punk.” Our writer, Alexander Barnes, interviewed founder James Spooner, who said, “I’m trying to do things that are empowering to black people, but I don’t just big up any black artist. You have to be good. If you’re just some jackass with a guitar, you’re just a jackass with a guitar.” Anyone who has ever attended the AFROPUNK Festival, in Brooklyn, Atlanta, Paris or London, must have noticed that, under the leadership of co-founder Matthew Morgan, the creative expressions are now as much about fashion statements as they are about music. Last weekend, I went to Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood and focused my iPhone lens on festival goers wearing black t-shirts, a staple of festivals worldwide. When I checked out my snaps, I wondered what kind of new year’s eve looks we can expect in Joburg, at their next event, on December 30th and 31st.

To see more pictures from the festival and learn about the AFROPUNK community, visit