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Six reasons to go to Afropunk in Brixton this week

By Nick Levine

Afropunk 2018 is a community-focused cultural juggernaut taking over Brixton all week. Here are six unmissable highlights.

1. Enjoy a night of world-class music 

US trio August Greene (Robert Glasper, Common and Karriem Riggins), who’ve worked with J Dilla and Kendrick Lamar, bring their jazz-fused hip hop to Brixton. They’re joined by classically trained soul singer Laura Mvula, Mobo-winning activist-rapper Akala, Camden’s grime-influenced rocker Bakar and local boy Shabba, who’ll serve up a  bangin’ blend of jungle, drum ’n’ bass and dancehall. 

O2 Academy Brixton. Sat Sep 8.

2. Experience the power of poetry

Deptford’s Apples and Snakes hosts an explosive poetry night showcasing black British poets and spoken- word artists. More than a dozen acts, including Momtaza Mehri, the Young People’s Laureate for London, will take to the stage to wax lyrical. The afterparty’s DJ set from Conrad Kira will pack a punch, too.

Upstairs at the Ritzy. Thu Sep 6.

 3. Tuck into an LGBT+ friendly feast

South London club collective BBZ  join writer Kuchenga for a dinner and conversation about the importance of creating safe spaces for queer people of colour.  The menu includes jerk wings, braised short ribs and butternut squash salad, but the community-focused discourse promises to be even more nourishing. 

The Department Store. Wed Sep 5.

4. Shake it all out, south London style

Expect a sweaty evening of hip-thrusting and booty-shaking as Soul II Soul’s legendary leader Jazzie B and Hackney-born DJ  Spoony, one of UK garage’s founding fathers, headline this bumper club night. Local support comes from queer, trans and non-binary group BBZ, block-party crew Recess and the Born N Bread collective, who’ll spin everything from trap to afrobeat. You’ll be able to party hard all the way through to 4am.

Electric Brixton. Fri Sep 7.

5. Check out exciting local talent

Embracing Afropunk’s DIY ethic and focus on community, Pop Brixton will house this year’s Battle of the Bands final. In Afropunk’s own pithy words: ‘The fans are the bands, the bands are the fans, fuck rock stars.’  Four acts voted for by the public will show off their tunes, but just one will emerge victorious.

Pop Brixton. Wed Sep 5. 

6. Strike a pose like Grace Jones

Soak up Sophie Fiennes’s spine-tingling doc ‘Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami’, which offers a fascinating portrait of the avant-garde pop icon. Before the film, celebrate Jones’s fashion legacy by posing for pictures in statement headpieces and natty hats supplied by London milliner Awon Golding. Fabulous, darling. 

Ritzy Cinema. Tue Sep 4. 

Afropunk is taking over Brixton all week. Tickets are available here

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