Phendu Kuta x Obakeng Molepe | Subcultures
This body of work is representing existing South African youth subcultures, amapantsula and izikhothane created by creative director Phendu Kuta in collaboration with photographer Obakeng Molepe. One of South Africa's longest surviving subcultures, the pantsula subculture emerged in the 1950s in Johannesburg townships. It is widely documented that the emergence of the subculture was a response to the forced removals implemented by the apartheid government shortly after its rise to power.
Amapantsula are mainly recognized for their signature dance isipantsula, a syncopated and quick-stepping form of dance with origins from Marabi - a popular genre of music in the 1920s and 1930s that influenced South African jazz, style, dance and became a lifestyle.
Featured in this body of work are members of Soweto-based dance crew Intellectuals Pantsula. In contrast, one of the newer and most controversial post-apartheid youth subcultures influenced by the swenkas (of the 1950s) as well as amapantsulas, are izikhothane which emerged in the early 2000's. The term izikhothane means ‘to lick’ or ‘to boast' which is definitive of the subculture's performative and flashy consumerism which involves style battles as well as dance battles.Though evolving in recent years to be fashion-focused taking on the pseudonym "material culture", to defy controversy. Aspects of South African township narratives are seen through these subcultures reflecting aspects of culture, identity and lifestyle.