welcome to the new punkaganda press +

welcome to the new punkaganda press +

welcome to the new punkaganda press +

welcome to the new punkaganda press +

welcome to the new punkaganda press +

welcome to the new punkaganda press +


Community And Resistance Outside South By Southwest

Written By:
Louis Watson
Photography By:
Louis Watson
March 23, 2024
Musician: Ekko Astral

Upon South By Southwest (SXSW) being exposed for working with war mongering entities such as Raytheon, BAE Systems, and the US army – over a hundred bands/musicians pulled from their original SXSW slots to stand in solidarity with Palestine. Even within the festival, musicians who had to make the decision to play were quick to denounce SXSW and their involvement with the aforementioned companies. Many musicians verbally spoke out against SXSW, created banners, brought Palestine flags, and/or donated all merch proceeds to Palestinian mutual aid organizations to show their stance.

Though the acts seen within the exclusive corporate walls of SXSW were great, it was not surprising that I spent the most fun outside of the festival. There was not only a plethora of unmatched and unique talent at the unofficial shows, but there was also a sense of community. I found myself surrounded by more folks of color and queer/trans folks. It was very inclusive, and there was space for everyone, even badged SXSW attendees found themselves in such spaces.

Musician: Jhariah

And we at Punkaganda were no stranger to a majority of the musicians who played these unofficial sets. Artists such as Jhariah, SCOWL, Ekko Astral, Blvck Hippie, and Proper. brought in large crowds at Austin’s local queer bar ‘Cheer Up Charlies.’ (Mind you, the coolest venue I have ever shot in and attended.)  It was an honor to have been introduced to all the other incredible musicians as well. Musicians such as The Armed, Lip Critic, Enola Gay, Medusa, Shalom, Squirrel Flower, and many many others absolutely tore the house down during their performances. You were not going to see that type of energy from within the SXSW festival. Every set sounded like a rebel yell.

Musician: SCOWL

Coming together to stand in solidarity with Palestine was a good reminder of how powerful music can be, and that a lot of music began as an act of resistance. I hope we can continue to boycott, resist and revolt against oppressive systems.

Big love to UMAW, Austin For Palestine Coalition and all other organizations for making it all possible.

Free Palestine.

about the author

Louis Watson

Dallas, TX