From Happy videos to ice-bucket challenges, from street harassment videos to getting US police officers equipped with a body camera, we can conclude, it’s been an eventful year for video. With over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, television is by now most definitely on it’s death bed.
2014 could also be called the year of the bootie anthems, the year Kim Kardashian didn’t break the Internet, and the year that it became even more challenging to hunt for great quality, unadulterated, non-compromising, life-rich videos that we like to showcase on Stocktown. It’s the filter bubble commanding, there’s now more than ever a need for curated content.
With a mix of shiver-evoking gems – we welcome you all to watch our most favoured videos of 2014. These are the videos that moved us, that inspired us, that made us want to put on our dancing shoes and bust a move. Egyptian tutting, staff riding on top of trains in South Africa, impressive dance moves on the Streets of Dakar, and spot-on-eat-your-heart-out dance crew from Sweden JUCK more or less blew us all away on our website this year. To us, videos equal love. Our mission remains the same as it has since we launched the website – sharing our love for the latest and thrillist clips the video landscape has to offer.
// Team Stocktown
Much love from us,
Ravijojla Novakovic, Teddy Goitom, Heather Ferrigan
Most viral video of 2014:
CHALLENGING THE PHALLOCENTRIC (SWEDEN)
Dance activism ? Hell yeah! Check this top notch video by a Swedish dance crew JUCK. You’ll also find out: what does Beyonce have to do with these five women dancers?
Everything matters in this video by Juck, from how this dance video was shot, how the camera behaves, to the symbols used in this video, including the choreography and the costumes. These are all elements of a finely tuned concept which aims at destabilising the phallocentric ownership of the camera. There is a different quality to sexiness these dancers emit and the way camera captures them isn’t focused on traditional representations of desirable femininity. – Ravijojla Novakovic (Editor, Stocktown)
Most inspiring video:
THE SLUMGODS OF MUMBAI (INDIA)
There’s currently a bboy-movement going on in the slums of Dharavi. Watch the Guardians mini-doc ‘The SlumGods of Mumbai: hope, hip-hop and the Dharavi way.
Guardian News & Media Ltd recently made this mini-doc ‘The SlumGods of Mumbai: hope, hip-hop and the Dharavi way’ covering the emerging b-boying scene in Mumbai’s slum Dharavi. Meet the city’s first fierce hip hop collective known as the SlumGods, led by Akash Dhangar.
Best human rights video:
FREEDOM OF HATE SPEECH AND HOW SOCIETY LETS SHIT SLIDE: KAMOHELO KHOARIPE’S WAR ON VERBAL ABUSE (SOUTH AFRICA)
The danger of being anything considered outside the norm is probably humanity’s greatest failure and sadly present everywhere. The old news is that homophobia is hard to dodge and the level of violence and tolerance comes in different limits, in any country and language.
‘Freedom of Hate Speech’ is a portrait series that blew us away instantly, and as the title suggests deals with a subject that is undoubtedly in need of crucial addressing – portraying preconceptions on LGBT people. – Heather Ferrigan (Editor, Stocktown)
RIDE OR DIE – THINGS PEOPLE DO TO EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS AND WHY (SOUTH AFRICA)
Train surfing aka staff riding in South Africa – a deadly admission, but to many local train surfers it’s more than a sport – its a way of taking off anger. Check out ‘Staff Riding’ by Marco Casino.
We’re the couch potatoes with (un)recognised privilege, they’re the brave young beings. And even if for a moment we’d think about judging them for disrespecting life, we don’t know what kind of life they’re having, we haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. – Ravijojla Novakovic (Editor, Stocktown)
Best Short film:
A NORTH WELSH WALTZ (UK)
We probably are looking for the escape. It’s like….let it come, let it happen. You’re free. Here’s hoping. Occupying the hazy ground between documentary and poetry ‘Waltz’ is a portrait of the North Welsh town of Towyn, painting all the subtleties that lie beneath the surface of this seaside community and it sits long in your thoughts after watching.
It’s hard to grasp the feeling that pervades in holiday communities like this in the UK, looking straight into the eyes of a boy rooted in the area you begin to understand the atmosphere of Towyn. From the metaphor of the fairground Waltzer you delve into a world of isolation, emotion and unexpected depth. – Jessie Rodger (Video Curator, Stocktown)
Best Music video:
AUTUMN BLUES REMEDY YASMINE HAMDAN (LEBANON)
Curing your early autumn blues with Beirut-born prodigy Yasmine Hamdan. In the late 1990′s, Yasmine played an important and crucial part in establishing Beirut’s indie culture scene, which today has managed to charm large crowds internationally.
Cure your autumn blues with Yasmine’s music! And why not try translating some of the lyrics to your native language if you, like I, don’t speak Arabic –the poems that emerge speak of the past and the present, and the struggles and victories of the human heart. – Ella Widman (Video Curator, Stocktown)
Best feel-good video:
SELF-MADE BALKAN BABE IS AT IT AGAIN – GNUČČI FOR PRESIDENT! (SWEDEN)
Non-apologetic and non-compromising rap power diva MC Gnučči releases the video for ‘A.Rab’ of her EP Psychohappy, directed by Roxy Farhat.
Swedish rapper Ana Rab, Gnučči, formerly known as Gnučči Banana, has just released the video for her song ‘A.Rab‘, of the EP Psychohappy. The video and song is a deluxe treat for culture vultures who don’t mind a strong persona showing them how it’s done when it’s non-apologetic. So badass. So juicy. – Ravijojla Novakovic (Editor, Stocktown)
Best dance video:
AND ALL THAT JAZZÉ (SENEGAL)
JAZZÉ – a dance form stemming from the traditional dance of BOLO from Gabon.
Check the exclusive video premiere for the latest dance moves by Joanna Holewa Chrona on her adventure with Hp, Fitzgerald and Wati in Dakar.
This short oozes of good vibes, plenty of knee-shaking jiggyness plus footwork that’s off the hook, just enough swagger to make anyone jump at their feet and dance. If anything is certain, the result is a feel-good piece exhibiting pure talent. – Heather Ferrigan (Editor, Stocktown)
Best art video:
SPRAY-CATION IN CHINA (CHINA)
Three Chinese artists (IDT collective) go on a trip across China and explore painting on different surfaces. This documentary ON THE ROAD – Graffiti in Vagrancy is a road trip movie and a graffiti movie in one. A true treat.
Like a traveling troupe they rely on the kindness of strangers for accommodation or they camp on the road side. In each place they connect with the mood and subtlety of the city before they paint it, and they get to know it intimately before moving on.
– Sharmila Wood (Video Curator, Stocktown)
Most creative video: