Bands With Unusual Names #2 – Fokofpolisiekar


The Western world has seen the rise (and fall) of numerous upstarts in various artistic fields. One could say that the rise of Dadaism in Europe, as exemplified by that most fabulous Fountain of Marcel Duchamp, did much to open up the possibilities of expression in visual art. So too did those illuminations of the deepest, darkest recesses of the human psyche found in many of the films directed by Italian auteur Pier Paolo Pasolini. Nearly half a century after their creation, these achievements in artistic expression continue to haunt and bewilder both art students and connoisseurs alike, despite never having achieved mass appeal for the public-at-large. Yet, with music, effecting change to the expressive limitations of the artform hasn’t always been so dramatic–and many of the controversies it introduced were quickly absorbed and formalized within the medium with little to no public fanfare over time.

Left to Right: Hunter Kennedy, Wynand Myburgh, Johnny de Ridder, Francois Van Coke, Jaco Venter. Photo by 187.

As time marched forward into the 21st Century, many felt that there was nothing that music could do to effect change, or at the very least, cause a stir–that is, until the South African punk band Fokofpolisiekar (Fuckoffpolicecar) burst out onto the country’s burgeoning youth scene in 2003.

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Faustin Linyekula/ Studios Kabako at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts [Review]

For Americans in the 21st Century, the concept of “punk” is unbelievably stale, but in some other parts of the world, not perverted by the whole “suburban mall punk” culture, that word still signifies promise and vitality. Late 1970s punk is what inspired Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula to create his new piece More, more, more… future, which was first shown in San Francisco on September 29th at the YBCA. Linyekula and his team, including the prominent guitarist Flamme Kapaya, attempted to combine punk’s scorched-earth approach and political urgency with the culture of ndombolo, based around a very sensual and hedonistic Congolese pop music style.

Photo by Agathe Poupeney.

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