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South Africa: Real Action Pantsula Dancers

Documentary photo story posted on 14 November 2010 by Alexia Webster

Pantsula culture was born some time in the 1950’s and 60’s in the townships of South Africa. It initially refered to a style of dress but grew into a culture and eventually a dance form. By the 1980’s when the townships were in flames and Apartheid police were at war with young black men in the streets across South Africa, Pantsula dance became a popular form of expression, rebellion and commentary.

In post Apartheid South Africa Pantsula culture has now become an important voice of the youth and offers opportunities to young men who otherwise have almost no support.

The Real Action Crew live in Orange Farm, about 45km outside of Johannesburg in a community who have been battling for basic resources like running water and electricity since residents first started moving there in the late nineteen eighties.

With a massive unemployment rate amongst the youth of South Africa, especially in Orange Farm
where there are very few opportunities, its significant that the young men who are part of Real Action and other Pantsula crews across the country are managing to make a living from dancing.



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  1. Ahh, the townships of South Africa. I was just reminiscing about my time there…

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