POV

American Hyphen

In the states, the hyphen is much more than a simple punctuation mark. It’s a little bridge that connects cultures that exist on opposite ends of the earth.

Story by Teo J, Babini Photos by Muge Karamanci
Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Only in the US could something called “Afro-Punk” sound so seamlessly natural. Regardless of the ever present division and institutionalized prejudice that plagues our culture, we truly are a melting pot of a country. In the states, the hyphen is much more than a simple punctuation mark. It’s a little bridge that connects cultures that exist on opposite ends of the earth.

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Afro-Punk is the most appropriate step in the evolution of the genre that has passed through various cultures from Celtic to Gypsy. It’s not the first cross-genre hybrid to hit the scene, but somehow stands out as a perfect pairing. Because the hyphen does not only act as a splicer, connecting two independent movements. It also marks the creation of something unique to the lands in which it’s born.

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Although there are plenty of true, blue Americans inhabiting much of the country, urban centers have long been home to immigrant communities who come to embody the spirit of a place; the Italian-American being the quintessential Brooklynite of a bygone era, or the Cuban-Americans who have a culture all their own in Miami and surrounding areas.

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

In my opinion, the hyphen does not divide these groups from mainstream culture. Rather, it connects them to the greater uniqueness of a place where new ideas are born, where people have the freedom to add and subtract in a cultural context. A place where no matter how much we fear change, it comes naturally to us, and makes us stronger. I’m not proud of everything that goes on around here, but when I look at the fabric of our nation through this lens, there’s hardly a place I’d feel more comfortable expending my creative energy… And so I raise a glass to all the Afro-Punks out there, keeping up the traditions that ACTUALLY make this place great.

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

Photo © Muge Karamanci

One Response to “American Hyphen”

  1. Myron says:

    Excellent. Truly enjoyed.