DC Has Risen: "DC Rising" at AFROPUNK Festival 2015
This past weekend Brooklyn's own Commodore Barry Park hosted the 2015 AFROPUNK Festival . The borough was the epicenter of the diverse subcultures of the Afro-Diaspora. It became the meeting grounds where artists, activists, and a multitude of others came to play, protest, and party together. Moving through the crowds effortlessly, you soon realized this was one of the last of the few places where black men, women, boys and girls could let their guards down, be completely carefree, just be themselves in whatever way they wanted to be. This annual festival attracted thousands of people from all backgrounds who were pierced, tattooed, braided, apologetically black and proud.
The "Gold Stage" was the most Afrocentric of the three main stages. There was tribal face painting and live drummers to go along with the huge crowds that circled around to see "dance offs" between festival goers. Setting all of this off were three DJs from Washington D.C.; Underdog The DJ, DJ NativeSun, and Jahsonic.
This trio set the tone for the closing day with their 2 hour "DC Rising" set. Whatever hangover and lag people had coming into the final day were gone by the time they were done. Playing while another DC native CITA SADELI 'CHELOVE' did a live art installation, you could feel the pulse of the crowd rise with each mix in of a new track and flick of her wrist. Not only did they connect with the crowd through their musical selection, but they seemed to also bring energy that could only be generated with the help of the ancestors.
After playing everything from Fela to Future with their very unique twist, they closed out their set by taking about ten minutes to pay homage to their hometown and its musical sound, Go-Go. Met with a lot of love and energy, this drum-heavy sound was the quintessential way to end the Festival, as it was the perfect fusion of Chocolate City sounds, AFROPUNK energy, and the people of the Diaspora.
All photos shot by Othello Banaci