This is BEFOK

Be BEFOK not gefok

BEFOK was born out of an identity crisis and sheer force of curiosity.

Befok: Afrikaans slang means really cool, crazy, stupid or a combination of all of the above.

Gefok: fucked up.

Afrikaans is a highly contested language in South Africa. The language is the anchor around an eponymous culture that emphasises respect for your elders and the importance of family. At the same time, it is intrinsically chained to a history of bloodshed, oppression, and dispossession. It is the bane of the youth forced to learn it in school. It is a language that is constantly being questioned and negotiated.

Like the Afrikaans language that gave it birth the word befok is inherently divisive and people don’t quite know what to make of it. It is viewed with distaste in various conservative circles, yet serves as a force raw expression for an irreverent youth not bound to such niceties. It represents the ability to reclaim a space and shift the conversation: not by whitewashing its problematic nature but by walking that razor's edge of recognition of it while refusing to be defined by it.

I don’t feel like I truly belong anywhere. I am a South African that has never quite felt at home in Africa and a German that can’t speak German.

I am too diligent to be a hedonist washout, but like to party too much to be one of the fastidious. I am too geeky to ever be cool. I am serious, but flippant. I am carefree, but an anxiety ridden worrier. I am a perfectionist, but too caught up in the next idea to worry about the details. I am a perfectly contrived stream of consciousness. I am an analogue photographer that only displays his work digitally. I am an artist that was told to never pick up a pencil again. I am not a designer; I am a journalist that knows how to use Photoshop.

I have no idea what I am doing; what I want; or where I am going, but I do know where I do not want to end up; what I don’t want; and what I don’t want to do.

BEFOK was born out an embracing of this uncertainty. It is a place of experimentation. It is unmoored and constantly contested. It is the embodiment of my identity crisis.

It is a thousand tiny mushrooms pushing up through the cracks.

It is that liminal space in between madness and genius.