Photographer Spotlight: Karabo Mooki

A project about the Punk Rock movement in Soweto, South Africa by photographer and filmmaker Karabo Mooki from Johannesburg. Focusing on distinctive casting and under-represented faces, Mooki’s work explores themes of race, gender, sexuality, and class while seeking to highlight life in South Africa in an honest and authentic way. According to Mooki, the township of Soweto has seen an unexpected rise in the influence of punk rock culture amongst young people, breaking down the monolith of Black stereotypes:

“Punk Rock and skateboarding is keeping the youth inspired and unafraid of pursuing their dreams, in an environment that is not receptive to ‘white music and white sports’, without public scrutiny or fear of being stereotyped. This movement is something that I have documented through the lives of the gatekeepers of the punk movement in Soweto. These unlikely role models from the band “T.C.I.Y.F” have influenced their community and outsiders, bridging borders through what many may deem as anti-establishment and non conformative forms of self expression, similar to the rebellious nature of great South African artists such as, Brenda Fassie, Hugh Masekela and Lucky Dube, who rebelled against the Apartheid regime through their music.”

Mooki’s photos follow a group of punk-rockers working to challenge conventional expectations around black identity — inspiring young black children and adults from the townships to the suburbs — and similarly debunking what it means to be Punk-Rock and its association as a white genre. Check out more images below!



























Karabo Mooki’s Website

Karabo Mooki on Instagram

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