[youtube width=”600″ height=”500″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLRtC1jsr30[/youtube]
South Africa is 21 years old and is showing signs of stepping into the shoes of being a young adult. We’re starting to face the reality of its situation, whilst fighting to keep the fire of its youthful optimism alive.
As we look back to commemorate the 1976 student uprising in Soweto this Youth Day, we’re also taking time to assess the present: what does it mean to be young in South Africa today? What are we protesting? What are we excited about?
Together with the Visual Content Gang we spoke to Lazi Mathebula, Pola Maneli, Rendani Nemakhavani, Andiswa Mkosi, Thandiwe Tshabalala and Dillion Phiri; 6 young South African creatives whose work is concerned with making a difference, speaking a truth or commenting on issues we’re faced with today. Through their respective mediums of graphic design, illustration, photography, music or writing their work aims to document, to reflect, to incite, or to support. The common thread is that each is concerned with representing an authentic African narrative. In this video they share their thoughts on their generation, creative confidence, and the importance of telling – and owning – your own story.
Director Takezito (Batandwa Alperstein) explains his approach, “#RhodesMustFall and the vocal youth movement around it is an icon of our current zeitgeist. We see the youth questioning the place of our colonial heritage within our independence. Statues are being torn down, but this begs the question: what will we replace them with?
Young South African creatives are filling this void by redefining our identity through interrogating our past and heritage and bringing it new relevance. In the video statues and cityscapes are used to symbolise our colonial past, and colourful animated overlays represent the fresh ideas being born out of this generation of ‘creative warriors’. The transformative energy is contained within their presence.
We are the DIY generation, and thus we chose a punk aesthetic throughout the video; a raw, unpolished style to mimic the birth of the ‘new South African identity’, which is arguably being created in front of our eyes by today’s contemporary artists and creatives – dubbed in the documentary as ‘The Catalyst’.”
Directed by Takezito (VCG)
Produced by Between 10and5
Cinematography by Zunaid Green & Takezito (VCG)
Edited by Chris Kets (VCG)
Animation by Stuart Kets (VCG)
Sound Design by Tim Pringle (Origin Audio)
Music by Jumping Back Slash (via Biblo.tv)
Photography by Zunaid Green
Visit our Young South Africa Series for interviews, articles and new music throughout June.