PETE
KOWALCZYK


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Once a year, the tensions of an isolated farming village are blown open by a visiting band of pop musicians from the city. It’s a primal electro-folk ritual combining the myths and stories of rural life with something sex-charged, nationalistic and unrestrained.

“A volcano smouldering silently in the isolation of a sleepy provincial town” — Celina Wieniewska on the writer Bruno Shultz

Photo credit: Bartek Cedro

PREVIOUS

FUTURE SOMALIA features diaspora artists piecing together their fractured history and rediscovering their roots. Poet Farah Gabdon and musician Faisal Salah talk about the current cultural renaissance in a series of short films. This project also involved interviews with human rights lawyers and Somali policy makers.

Broadcast on CNN Connect the World.

Somalia's diaspora poets step into the mainstream — CNN

Hope for Somalia — Latterly

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Look at me as a boxer is a collection of shorts made with some of the UK's top muslim woman boxers. Shot during Ramadan, Ambreen Sadiq, Saira Tabasum and Naila Kiani talk about the spirituality and discipline of boxing and faith. Some schools in London are keen to show these shorts as part of their physical education curriculum. 

Screened at South London Shorts. 

Screened at DIY Cultures London. 

A woman’s figurative battles presented in literal form — Muslim Matters

Muslim female boxers featured in documentary — Ummah Sports

Watch on Vimeo


Ethiopia’s new sound is a project showing how technology and tradition are reshaping grassroots music in Ethiopia. An intimate profile of electronic producer Mikael Seifu as he began to release breakthrough records on New York label RVNG Int.

Voted one of Dazed’s top 10 on-the-ground pieces of 2014.

Ethiopia's rising electronic producers find their voice — Dazed

Ethiopiyawi: the new African hand-me-down sound (photos) — the Guardian

Watch on Vimeo
Alienated in Osaka looks at the life of people of North Korean descent in Osaka through the lens of émigré documentary maker Sayu Park. I spent time in schools and at protest marches and found a form of loyalty to the DRPK. I also interviewed the head of the North Korean consulate for this project.

Alienated in Osaka — Dazed
The last moments of Berlin, 2016 is a photo essay in response to the attacks in Breitscheidplatz in December that year.  

The last moments of Berlin, 2016 — Latterly
As Egypt votes its army back into power, leading lights of the electro shaabi scene tell us why music is the only thing left young people can trust.

The institute of contemporary art (ICA) in London invited me to talk about this piece in relation to the Arab Spring.

Cairo’s underground producers defy military rule — Dazed
As Osaka police crack down on clubnights, meet the kids moving the party outdoors.

Voted one of Dazed’s top 10 on-the-ground pieces of 2014.

Inside Japan’s wild psych raves — Dazed
In a year in which the number of refugees worldwide is the highest in recorded history (19.5 million according to UNHCR) — refugee athletes will be welcome at Rio 2016.

They fled their homes. Can these refugee athletes play in the Olympics? — CNN




ARCHIVE


CNN: Future Somalia (3 short films)

Latterly: Hope for Somalia 

Dazed: Alienated in Osaka

Look at me as a boxer (2 short films)

Dazed: Cairo’s underground producers defy military rule

CNN: Somalia’s diaspora poets step into the mainstream

CNN: They fled their homes. Can these refugee athletes play in the Olympics?

Dazed: Ethiopia’s rising electronic producers find their voice

Ethiopia’s new sound (short film)

Guardian: Ethiopiyawi: the new African hand-me-down sound (photography)

Latterly: The last moments of Berlin, 2016

CNN: Africa fashion week — The little town rocking the catwalk

Guardian: The difficult world of Glassjaw fandom

CNN: Mahatma Gandhi’s descendants thrive in South Africa 

CNN: Unearthing East Africa's lost civilization


Dazed: Inside Japan’s wild psych raves

Vice: Jarocim festiwal remembered

Guardian: Get ready for Aquacrunk (photography)

CNN: Meet the park rangers risking their lives to save the mountain gorilla 

CNN: In search of the river Nile’s mythical origins

CNN: Home to the world's rarest mammals

CNN: After the goldrush: Tanzanian villagers turn gold mine into a wildlife utopia

Dazed: Bass in your face (photography)

CNN: How tech is fighting back for endangered rhino

CNN: Tanzania: A modernizing land of natural wonder and opportunity

CNN: Rwanda: Life in some of the oldest rainforests in Africa