Joburg has long had a ghost reputation over the festive season but that is about to change this December thanks to Constitution Hill which will be hosting the highly anticipated global AFROPUNK festival on 30 and 31 December 2017.
The festival annually hosted in New York, Atlanta, London and Paris is now coming to Joburg for the first time welcoming renowned artists such as Solange Knowles, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Laura Mvula, King Tha and more. The partnership between these two iconic organisations, AFROPUNK and Constitution Hill is one born from a shared spirit and shared values. Both represent a triumph of inclusion, multiculturalism and equality for people of all races, genders, colours and creed. AFROPUNK is a community celebrating black culture within an openness to multiculturalism, making it a perfect fit for a precinct like Constitution Hill that commemorates what a brutal culture of unconstitutionalism did to South Africa, and is now the home of the Constitution that now secures South Africans’ rights. AFROPUNK chose South Africa because of “the South African Constitution, the possibilities, the beauty, the creativity”. It is well-known that Constitution Hill was historically a place of degradation. Prisoners were compelled to take part in the “tauza dance”, to ensure that they had nothing hidden in their rectums. The prison was closed in 1983, “leaving a scar on Joburg’s metropolis – a bleak reminder of our painful past”. But now a different, lighter kind of dancing happens on the site which has been creatively transformed into a human rights precinct and is now the home of justice.
The South African people have now reclaimed the space as their own and as a site for their own creative activism and civic engagement. Constitution Hill is therefore a natural site for AFROPUNK to host the first-ever AFROPUNK festival on the continent. In preparation for AFROPUNK, Constitution Hill has launched a unique tourism collective – I am Joburg for both local and international festival goers that will descend on Joburg this festive season. The website www.iamjoburg.africa is a curated collection of unique experiences and tours celebrating Johannesburg’s diverse cultures and people. From walking and cycling tours of Joburg’s iconic neighbourhoods to unique culinary and cultural experiences, I am Joburg is about celebrating the local and supporting Johannesburg’s local tourism and creative entrepreneurs who make the city unique. I am Joburg is founded on the premise that Johannesburg’s strongest asset is it’s people, and seeks to showcase the city’s diverse citizens. For AFROPUNK Joburg tickets http://afropunkfest.com/johannesburg/tickets/ to book an experience that’s 100% Johannesburg 100% authentic 100% all of the time.