Zef Subculture

The Zef subculture, what is it and where does it originate from?

Hoby met with an Afrikaans band known as “Die Antwoord” in London and Ninja and Yolandi the singer or rappers of the band told her that Zef is about you not really care for anything, you are on your own little mission. They said that people that follow the Zef culture “soup their cars up” and the will usually ware gold which is often referred to as bling. They stated that the sub culture is all about you might be poor but you can still be fancy, sexy and you can still have style in your own way.

According to Bosch and Hoby the Zef style of music is a hibernation of Afrikaans and English. In an interview ‘Die Antwoord’ with Damien Lay they state that Zef is a style, a way of thinking and a way of dressing. Bishop wrote that the term Zef referred to the blue-collar worker in South Africa or rather the Suid Afrikaner who is descendants from Dutch. Bishop also stated that if someone is called Zef then they have a “ridiculously souped-up car” they often drink brandy and coke, watches rugby and gets involved in bar fights. The term is derived from the Ford Zephyr that was driven in the 1970’s and was a cheaper car.

Parker also uses the term souped-up cars but explains that the cars have fur on the dashboard, a person wearing Crocs and drinking brandy. Parker also explains that the term Zef literary means common. He states that this subculture is often associated with lower-middle classes “that glorifies the trashy and the weird”. He wrote that the subculture began forming in the 60’s and the 70’s and still exist to the present day and can be found in the underground music scene of Bellville. Bellville is a middle class suburb is the place where the Zef movement grew into what it is today. The artist like Jack Parow and Die Antwoord are from Bellville and made the movement what it is today.


Images of the Movement
















Bishop, M. 2011. That’s Zef: The True Story Behind Die Antwoord’s Mysterious Style.

Bosch, M. 2010. S.African Afrikaans rappers takes Internet by storm.

Hoby, H. 2010. Die Antwoord: ‘Are we awful or the best thing in the universe?’.

Parker, R. Mullets & music: Introducing Zef Culture.













Summary of Thematising the ugly side of sublime technological development: Sonzero’s Pulse (2006) as an inadvertent critique of the ‘technocentrism’ of postmodetnity [By Inge Konkik]

When I first started to read this article I found myself to be extremely confused and boggled by what the article really was about, but after you have finished reading the article and watching the film “Pulse” you soon start to understand what the writer of the article is trying to get across.

I only watched the clip of the movie and read what the story is about and I found that rather horrific on its own. The film is about the paranormal that got a “frequency” that the ghosts use to access the realm of humans and these ghosts want what the humans have, “live”. Josh, one of the characters in the story, is a programmer and found the “frequencies” that none of them knew about. Later on in the story he commits suicide because the ghost gained access to his personal computer as well as to Josh himself, they stole his soul so that he no longer feels like himself and toke his own live because he did not see the reason for living any longer. As the movie progresses you learn that the humans can not stop these ghosts and the one that does try to do so will regret in doing so. Close to the end of the story the US military announced on the radio that there are “safe zones” that people can go to that is isolated of all technology and before they go they need to leave all technology (like cellphones, PDA’s and laptops) behind. This movie is based on fiction and imagination.

Konik states that Lyotard’s explains and defines postmodernism as a distrust of metanarratives and in the era that we find ourselves today, it is usually understood that a declining in credibility has occurred towards noble accounts of modernity. The writer took a movie to illustrate what is going on around us in the postmodern era, Capitalist Technoscience. The capitalists are taking over our world through the means of cultural products which happens to be technology. All our information is out there in the world and how can we even think that we are safe if it is possible for anyone to access it. We as people are also bombarded by information and imagery through the use of technology and that most certainly has an impact on us.

Looking at modernity there are two important aspects “justice” and “truth” but in postmodernism no care is shown towards both these aspects. Postmodernism is all about your “performance”, “efficiency” and the success that you can achieve – all of this is done through the use of technology. However technology is no longer seen as a development of progress, technology now follows its own accord and does no longer depend on us its creators. Thus technology has a negative impact on the human race and it dehumanizes aspects in our lives that technology should not play a part in, like they illustrate in the story where two of the characters are at a club and the boy asks the girl to dance through a text message where he should have asked face to face.

People seek for pleasure in meaningless objects and at the end of the day you have no satisfaction.   Slowly losing their souls the humans does not release what is truly going on as they are enslaved by technology and is losing their humanity, they have no love and no live – which person can truly thrive in a lifestyle like this. Capitalist taking over our lives and the way we live.

Modernism vs. Postmodernism

When you think of modern art and when it comes to understanding modern art you can sometimes find yourself confused. Modernism and postmodernism is both complex and have various branches.

The Meggs’ History of Graphic Design shows us that the modernism starts with Cubism following with Futurism, then Dada came, Surrealism was born from Dada and then Expressionism made its appearance. Each of these movements rebelled against its predecessor and each of these movements influenced not only art but architecture, photography and design. Modernism began early in the 20th century and stretched between 20 and 25 years.

The postmodernism movement according to Oak (2008) began after the Second World War. This movement also influenced art, design, architecture, fashion and so much more, one example could be graffiti which became a secret language between young people and an art form in its own right. Postmodernism as a whole rebelled against modernism. I drew up this table, Modernism vs. Postmodernism containing keywords to illustrate the difference between the two distinct movements of the 20th century.

Modernism Postmodernism
Purpose Play
About the finished work About the process of the work
Selection Combination
Hierarchy Anarchy (all elements are important)
Distance Participation
Depth of a subject Surface of a subject
Order Chaos
Narrative Anti-narrative
Unity in work Fragmentation
It is about the bigger picture Have blind spots
Have simplicity Is complex
Abstract Figurative
Universal Diversity
About perfection Believe in imperfection
Integrity Broken
Have a fixed meaning Is open ended
Objective / theoretical Subjective
Logical Illogical
Function and factual Whimsical and fun
Is correct and right Have errors and deliberate mistakes.
Believe in science Believe in fiction


During modernism art work and literature were required from artist and a specific meaning were attached to the work, but postmodernism on the other hand art works became digitally available because of the computer age and people attached their own meanings to an art work (Oak, 2008).

We have two contrasting movements, both standing strong in their believes and what an interesting century is must have been.


Oak, M. 2008, Difference between Modernism and Postmodernism. Available:

Meggs’, P.B. & Purvis, A.W. 2006. Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Class Notes