Award-winning director Sean Metelerkamp produced this promotional film for Studio Africa – a collaboration between fashion labels Diesel and Edun –, presenting the Born in Africa denim collection alongside work by various different artists.
In the video, South African dance crew Real Actions, from Soweto, perform the Pantsula in a dance battle against a group of puppets. To the sound of The Very Best & Moroka’s Ndekha track, the audience dances along in a nocturnal township atmosphere, with the camera focusing on the clothing worn by those attending. Short insertions in the video show traditional symbols of Malian Dogon culture. Performed as a competitive group dance from its inception, the Pantsula dance originated in the black townships of the apartheid era, and it became a widespread, performative expression of resistance. Today, mostly black South Africans identify themselves with Pantsula as a part of their cultural heritage from times of repression. Simultaneously, whites also take part in official competitions, which are extremely attractive because of the huge sums of prize money offered.