All Articles
All Articles


Sweden's international video magazine focuses on Africa's vibrant and diversely creative scene

by Hans Aschim
on 09 October 2013

The Web 2.0 era has allowed unprecedented access to self-publishing in music, writing and videos. While this democratization of communication has both drawbacks and benefits, it's safe to say the amount of content to sift through is staggering. To avoid getting bogged down in viral cat videos and other popcorn for the brain, look to Stockholm-based video magazine Stocktown and its global team of editors, who find and produce some of the most thought-provoking videos on urban culture. Named for the the hip-hop and street art nickname for Stockholm, Stocktown goes well beyond Sweden to find the best urban content from around the world.

Founded in the late '90s as a platform for the burgeoning hip-hop and graffiti scenes in Sweden, Stocktown has grown into a fully formed creative outlet for an international audience. They shifted their main focus to video in 2011, in response to the surge of content inundating computer screens. "There's a need for curation when it comes to YouTube," says founder Teddy Goitom. "There is a lot of powerful content, but it gets drowned out."


One of Stocktown's goals is to feature content from places that are often overlooked. Over the past few years, Goitom and his editorial team have taken a focus on Africa and the African diaspora. "We're always researching urban culture and what's going on in different cities in music, fashion and art," says Goitom, "but for African cities it was difficult because it was hard to find local blogs." Instead of moving on, Goitom and his crew traveled to three countries on a research trip to learn more about contemporary urban culture in Africa for an upcoming 60-part series. Hitting all four points on the compass in Africa as well as reaching out to diaspora communities in Europe and North America, Stocktown is doing justice to the continent's distinct creative diversity.


"It's an interesting period in Africa," Goitom says. "There's a hunger to see something else from Africa, aside from stereotypical depictions of war, famine and undifferentiated masses of people." The range of creative talent represented is certainly eye-opening and inspiring. Transsexual musician Titica's work has flourished in Angola, where homosexuality is illegal. In Soweto, a section of Johannesburg, Goitom and his crew profile the township's heavy metal scene, an award-winning streetwear collective and a budding photographer, just to name a few. The videos all reveal a look into the workings of creatives that often fail to reach most audiences. "We're more and more connected," Goitom says, "for creatives in Africa, access to broadband and information is key to connecting."


For those unfamiliar with Africa's creative underpinnings, Stocktown's series are a fresh viewpoint from what is already out in the digital sphere. By hitting the streets and forging personal relationships with leading artists and musicians, they are providing an insider's perspective. "There is a new generation that wants to showcase a different image," Goitom says of the continents. But don't be quick to generalize, he reminds. "Africa is a massive continent with different cultures and resources. We can't just say, 'Africa.' We need to be more precise and take it place by place."

Visit Stocktown online to view more content from Africa and across the world. Keep an eye out for Goitom's full-length documentary on African urban culture in the coming months.

Images courtesy of Stocktown

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community
Loading More...