Words By Adefolakunmi Adenugba, Photos By Maya Moore
The Carnival of Consciousness, or Afropunk Atlanta, hailed renowned artists such as Tyler the Creator while simultaneously providing a platform for up and coming artists like ABRA and Kelela. Historically the event has been believed to be a space for Black people to display the multiplicity of Blackness. It continued to live up to that reputation. Nestled inside of an Atlanta suburb, a world was created where Black people were free to mosh pit as well as discuss the problems facing our communities.
Witnessing Black people confident in their interests, comfortable in their fashion, and bold in their personalities allowed for a refreshing space for carefree Blackness. Afropunk was a celebration of the multifaceted understanding of what it means to be Black and how Blackness can embody different meanings for different individuals.
Unsurprisingly, performers like Tyler the Creator, SZA, and Big Freedia brought out huge crowds. Infamous New Orleans artist, Big Freedia, especially stood out for her use of hypnotic bounce beats, encouragement of twerking, and audience participation.
On the other hand, SZA gave a show that every person could vibe with, inclusive of popular hits off her albums S and Z, as well as songs only released on her Soundcloud. There were performances fit for every type of music lover this past weekend.
Surpassing standards of being a collection of musical performances, this event served as a means for a community to come together. Social saloons moderated by Angela Davis, Darnell L. Moore and Jillian Harvey sparked thought and conversation on subjects like voting, community activism, gender, race politics, and hair. Different vendors were able to showcase and sell their products to the wider Atlanta community. Artists such as lavishbat had their works showcased around the stages, the photography and sketches displaying the talent and creativity evident within the Black community.
When Afropunk Atlanta was advertised as more than just a music festival, they we’not joking. Stepping foot on the festival grounds meant that you were in for thought provoking conversation as well as a turn up. The Carnival of Consciousness was the most beautiful dichotomy.
Most notably, Afropunk was designated as a No Trump Zone.