Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Heritage Day: I Took These Thinking You'd Stay

I'm developing a slight obsession with taking my camera along whenever my friends invite me outside. I've always obsessed over how beautiful my friends are and how I've wanted to capture then Teenage Gaze style à la Petra Collins but this nagging voice behind my left ear always insists that no one wants to have their good time stalled by my Canon refusing to focus. 
To hell with that nagging voice. I'm going to take after my two favourite Toxic Youth photographers, Moises Arias and Petra Collins, and capture all these moments that would otherwise be poorly immortalised in my moleskins. 
So these are my pretty friends, and me praising some ribs, on this wonderful public holiday, Heritage Day, where we joked about Trisha and had real talk about Mike Brown and the misrepresentation of not only women but black women on television. 
Ain't you proud of us?
Baby got back. 
I wasn't ever here for you.
Black Girl Astonished Volume II.
Turn It Just the Right Way.
Who dis?.
Don't be that guy.
You wanna eat a burger?.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Go All Night

Every time I've gone out with my friends, I've always noticed all these really beautiful aesthetically cohesive moments and wished I'd had the strength to carry my camera around all the time. Things like the way pink, red and purple lights fall of everyone's faces, girls with giant hair shouting the words to Ashanti and Ja Rule's Always On Time and overdressed Joburg stylistas pigging out on McDonald's or Burger King.

This is Kelicia running away because a creepy old man was watching me take photos of her and Kate and not having the most kosher of things to say at that.
"Khensani, you look so mad."
"This is the only face I have!"
All the people working at the gas station took the time out of their busy 19h45 schedule to watch us take photos of each other. It was so incredibly uncomfortable.
Kelicia making arrangements for the night.
"MY ANACONDA DON'T want none of this car any longer, on the real though.""

Any crazy nights you ever wanted to capture?

Monday, 1 September 2014

The House Party Formula

If you grew up on as much American pop culture as I did as a child, devouring hours of 90210, Clueless and Mean Girls like they were your last meal, attempting to replicate the sway of a Dion walk or a classic Regina George eye-roll, then you've probably spent your final years of primary/elementary/whatever-you-did-before-your-life-became-real dreaming about attending the quintessential house party.

The kind where you wore enough over-saturated lipgloss to flood your tub and a swishy, A-line miniskirt with a million belts draped around your hips and an assortment of body glitter and jewels around your navel (it was the 2000s guys).

The kind where you have collected a pretty, but not too pretty, gang of giggley girls who've assured you that the boy from your English class is "totally into you" and that "tonight [was] the night to finally make your move".*

The kind where you drank beer from red cups and found the magical ability to sway rhythmically to late '90s R'n'B music like an unrealistic 2004 music video. All while you've lied to your parents about the amount of boys present and whether they actually had met the 'girl' throwing the party.

I'd entered high school imagining house parties as the upper echelon of the teenage experience. The frequent attendance to these parties not only meant that you were a somebody, a somebody in with the right people, a somebody people love to meet but that you were going to grow old with a content smile on your face because you've lived.

This was where you were made and/or broken, right?

Well, let's just say that reality turned out a lot different. For some parts better, most parts worse. For one, copious amounts of lip gloss and redundant belts were no longer a thing but they were also replaced by coloured skinny jeans and ill-applied eyeliner.
And R'n'B seemed to die the moment I hit puberty. With the death of Juicy velour tracksuits and Kimore Lee Simmons ghetto fab gold leggings and Gucci shades, also came the end of the era of the Mariah Careys, Marios, Sisqos, R.Kellys and Sades that had brought so much joy.

What I instead found where hormone fueled, energy spike gatherings of kids I knew and kids I kinda knew and kids I would later wish I had never known, that hung around territorially, clutching white paper cups to their chests, hating whatever music was playing, laughing about absolute nothings on trampolines and couches, hosting loud debates about things they would not care about in ten days, saying and doing the nastiest things to or with each other all so that they could say they were there Saturday night and make it seem a lot greater than it actually was to the kids smart enought not to attend.

I tried to remain optimisitc in my earlier years, I really did. Believe me, I searched high and low but what I've come to realise is that all house parties all play out the exact same way.

So, in order to save you time, energy and lies that you could use on your parents when they're actually necessary, I've compiled the House Party Formula. This is a scientifically, fact driven equation and hypothesis that is totally reputable and will work out everytime**.

The House Party Formula:

  1. A drunk white girl will get into an argument with either her 'best friend' or boy she likes and she will kill the mood of every room. Stay away from her. Unless you are her then fix your life, girlfriend.
  2. Someone will try to coax you into a dark corner. This can either be a bad or a good thing. Your choice.
  3. There will always be one SOB who wants to play the genre of music you hate the most and he will make a big deal of crying bloody murder at the flow of pop or EDM playing. He also never dances or feels feelings inside. Pay no attention to him.
  4. People will feel the need to display either their breasts or genitals. Either through body shots or peeing outside like an animal.
  5. Someone will puke and/or pass out. You will most likely be present for this, if not the offender, and you will have to ask someone how to get the stain out of your brand new boots.
  6. One kid will have been the white girl wasted novice who has never been let out before or hardly gets let out. This kid will lose his/her respective shit and make you question your life.
  7. One of your friends will be a mess and you will make fun of her for it for the rest of her life or until you do something equally or even more stupid.
  8. Those two guys you know from some or other sports will get into a physical fight that will not only destroy the mood of the whole party but signal everyone's departure.
  9. The police will arrive. Or the host's parents. Or worse: the nosy parents of the wild child who never goes out who will make it his/her duty to call everyone else's parents because their little Johnny or Susy cannot suffer alone.

While this formula works out 99% of the time, do not let it keep you from repeatedly looking for Daisy's green light across the lake at every party. I don't.

*Do not let the fact that I had attended a single sex school for the first half of my high school life dissuade you from the credibility of my statements.
**Oh my god, no. This is all based on my own experiences and a few episodes of CW and ABC television.
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