Cape Town-based art collective, APESH!T YOUTH explores identity by being ‘Aggressively Progressiv’. Hailing from the city’s townships, the eight members use multidisciplinary arts to motivate fellow young creatives whilst providing a platform to represent them.
The group uses its platform as a means of support for one another and their creative pursuits. With each member having a pseudonym, ApeSh!t are inclusionary in their anonymity. They’ve chosen not to have one face representing the whole group, instead, they are focused on building a legacy that new blood can join over time.
Initially under the name “Aggressively Progressiv’”, the collective is interested in breaking down the negative associations and preconceptions attached to township living.
“When people in the townships find financial freedom, the first thing they would do is leave the ‘hood’ as it’s not of their social status anymore. This is sad because a lot of the time when kids see people driving fancy cars in the townships it’s usually the local gangster. This creates a void in that there is not really that many people kids can look up to.”
APESH!T YOUTH would like to make changes within townships that will foster healthier mindsets. Inspired by creating conversations through their art, they are not tied down by one medium. Apesh!t’s expression is through music, film, design, and photography.
The group said “over the years we’ve been influenced by many great artists namely: Basquiat, ASAP MOB, PRO ERA, ODD FUTURE, SOULECTION, and WU-TANG CLAN. In the South African scene: BOYZ N BUCKS, Tandekile Mkize, TKZEE, Stay True Sounds, and The Visual Article.”
ApeSh!t is interested in creating content for a global audience, on a standard that reaches past the South African field of vision. As friends and extended family, they’re able to criticize constructively and implement their ideas to roll-out.
The collective definitely wants to grow as a collective and as individuals – hopefully, inspire kids in the hood to do what they love even if it’s outside of art.
Written by Grace Crooks.