Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Los Frikis

Photo by Helena de Bragança

One of the things I'll be writing about in relation to Slovene hardcore for my PhD is where the Hardcore Collective fits in with regards to youth reactions to communist states. A lot of academic work has been done on this, particularly in relation to Soviet Russia and I'm still working how applicable and transferable these frameworks are for the reality of life in Yugoslavia in the 1980s.

Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning all this is because a friend of mine recently recommended a podcast which is a product of the first collaboration between Radiolab and Radio Ambulante. For some reason I decided to listen to it on my journey back home after a weekend of little sleep and lots of beer at K-Town in Copenhagen and it wiped (an already tired and emotional) me out entirely.

It focuses on Los Frikis in Cuba in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I won't spoil the story as it's only a 30 minute listen and there are a couple of other video documentaries on the subject, but it's so so fascinating and amazing. The example Los Frikis pose is a completely heartbreaking, ultimate manifestation of what it is to 'opt out' of society, but also represents some of the the abstract opportunities and freedom, but also the literal shelter, that punk can provide. Whilst the ultimate conclusion to the story is incredibly tragic, the ripping back of symbolic, if not concrete, power through punk and political opposition is an inspiring and energising force.

Ultimately though, this short podcast and my summary of it can never be enough to do the issues it throws up justice. I'm still working out how I feel about it several days later.

You can listen via youtube here-