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Counter Culture  |  Tuesday 11 July 2017 08:47

Counter Culture Unvarnished. Up Close. Real

South Africa is heralded as having the world’s most progressive constitution that upholds equality. Internationally the country is applauded for its multicultural diversity, tolerance and respect for one another. Is this actually the case? SABC 3 brings you the edgy documentary Counter Culture, Sunday 30th July at 21h30.

If we as a society could learn to respect and understand each other, our diversity in cultures and religions – whether we agree with them or not – there would be less conflict between individual parties, groups or nations. Hostility would be marginalized and persecution eradicated. This show hopes to provide that very bridge to a harmonious multicultural society using controversial and entertaining television to open viewers’ hearts and minds with an objective and impartial approach. After watching this balanced yet emotional roller-coaster television show, viewers may question what is “normal”.

Each week Counter Culture investigates one of mainstream society’s A to Z list of counter-cultures. The simple idea is to shift the audience’s incredulousness, to one of understanding and broadmindedness: a live and let live attitude based on empathy and insight. In doing so, the show aims to change viewers’ pre-conceptions too.

Tune in to Counter Culture the probing A to Z encyclopaedic TV series that hopes to shed light on one of society’s misunderstood co-cultures every Sunday at 21h30 on SABC 3 “The Stage Is Yours”.
For more information, interviews and pictures, please contact the SABC 3 Publicity department.

Counter Culture has selected Martial Arts both in the form of Cage Fighting and as a method of self-defence for exploration. Around the globe this so-called sport, cage fighting, has courted controversy as it promotes gratuitous violence through mixed martial arts fighting – leaving competitors severely injured, maimed or dead. Yet in South Africa it has been gaining popularity and criss-crosses racial lines. To most this is seen as a sport that needs to stop as it is considered barbaric and returning society to the Middle Ages. To others it is pure entertainment and the fighters know what to expect and are compensated for putting on a big show. At the same time many people in South Africa of all races and genders are learning Martial Arts as a form of self-defence.

Counter Culture has selected Drag Queens and the Transgender community for exploration. It soon becomes clear that even fellow gay people just about tolerate drag artists and still do not fully understand the desire to dress up like a girl. Why? At the same time many members of the transgender community have also vocalized their unhappiness with the drag community as they see these “men in dresses” creating an arena where the validity of transgender identities can be questioned and could potentially lead to further oppression.

Counter Culture has selected drifting and drag racing for exploration. Illegal car racing on public highways is becoming an urban problem no matter where you are globally or in South Africa. Society presumes it is for delinquent ill-educated males who are trying to increase their status in their group or gang. One of our case studies dispels this partiality as it involves someone from a good background …and happens to be a woman who is also trying to change the illegal face of the sport.

Counter Culture has selected hip hop culture for exploration. Cape Town has long been known for its “raw,” laid-back and socially conscious approach to hip-hop, as championed by the front-runners of the city’s scene – Godessa, Driemanskap, Ill Skillz, Brasse Vannie kaap, Jitsvinger. It dates back to the pioneering years of Prophets of da City (POC) and Black Noise. Hip-hop in The Mother City has always been true to the art form of hip-hop through all its four elements. To this day, the city is still known and respected for that.

Counter Culture has selected ballroom dancing for exploration. While many people partake in ballroom dancing as a social past time there is a very competitive side to this sport. By the turn of the nineteenth century ballroom dancing had become a popular social pastime in Europe, North-America and South Africa. The years leading up to the First World War saw a number of South African social dancers, like their Western counterparts, striving to perfect the steps of these imported, ballroom dance routines. Now in modern day South Africa the sport continues to expand and the competitions can get very cutthroat…

Counter Culture has selected beauty pageants for exploration. Beauty pageants epitomize the word "glamour." Young women dress up in floor length gowns, sparkling bikinis, and all the hairspray a human scalp can hold, while showcasing their broadest smiles and most special talents. A spectacle in the truest sense, beauty pageants are essentially graded performances of traditional femininity: Who is the most graceful? Who is the most beautiful? Who can wear an evening gown and five inch stilettos without tripping?

Counter Culture has selected off the grid living for exploration. Off the grid living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet.

Counter Culture has selected dog show enthusiasts for exploration. Modern dog shows first began more than 150 years ago in England and by the end of the century it was a hugely popular pastime, with dog owning fashionable among all classes of society. For most of the people who train and then enter their dogs in these events showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are basically a process of elimination, with one dog being named “Best in Show” at the end of the day.

Counter Culture has selected Bodybuilding for exploration. While aerobic exercises like jogging and riding a stationary bike can improve the health of the heart and lungs, pumping iron is the best way to help improve the bulk of the muscles, adding definition and increasing overall strength. While weightlifting can be helpful for most people, there are some people who take a weightlifting routine a bit too seriously, and they develop behaviors that do much more harm than good.

Counter Culture has selected Naturism for exploration. Doing things in the nude is becoming more popular as individuals seek to rid themselves of their daily constructs and revel in the liberation of their naturalness. According to the South African Naturist Federation (Sanfed) this lifestyle choice has been growing rapidly in South Africa, from 130 people in 2009 to more than 8 000 members currently. While public nudity in South Africa is not legal it is allowed within certain parameters and things are most certainly changing in response to this lifestyle choice.

Counter Culture has selected comic book fans and cosplay for exploration. For 75 years comic books have been major art form in popular culture, and since 1938 the superhero has been the major genre of comic books. Superheroes have had such longevity and such mass appeal that they have appeared in nearly every medium of popular culture and become embedded in the cultural psyche. Comic superheroes have often had a distinctly political element to them. The term Cosplay is thrown around to describe various forms of costuming and has been described as a form of fan art, of expressing a fan’s love for the comic book genre.

Counter Culture has selected graffiti/street artists for exploration. No other place is home to more captivating or inspiring graffiti than the District Six neighborhood in Cape Town. You’ll come across images of Maasai people, imitations of contemporary African lifestyles, representations of South African political figures like Nelson Mandela or Steven Biko, and paintings dedicated to public awareness goals – like the protection of human rights, freedom or honour. Cape Town’s urban art makes a powerful statement in times of uncertainty and decay. Graffiti works are generally seen more as a burden than as a form of art, but the majority of Cape Town’s graffiti artworks deal with current issues, concerns and public sentiment – the things that matter.

Counter Culture has selected swingers for exploration. Swinging, also known as wife swapping or partner swapping is a non-monogamous behavior in which both singles and partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity. The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the freer attitudes to sexual activity after the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle".

About SABC 3
The repositioned SABC 3 brand brings you “The Stage is Yours”, for the quintessential viewer that is unapologetically South African in pride and in behaviour but holds a global view, the unboxed. We are the channel that shines a spotlight on our aspirations and represents the progressive spirit of our nation. We have local content that is relevant, cutting edge, compelling and speaks to our South Africanisms.  We aim to showcase our multicultural energy and the collective possibility that allows our viewers to make life affirming -decisions that will define the future of generations to come.

Issued by Doulha Domingo
Publicity Coordinator: SABC 3 | Tel. (011) 714 6269


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