Traditionally considered to be the breeding ground of
the monstrous, the limen is the non-place where hybrids
congeal and mutate into extraordinary amalgamations.
The latest cultural phenomenon of zef as embodied
in the rap rave band Die Antwoord reveals precisely
such a monstrous hybridity. Zef – a term describing
white (predominantly Afrikaans) trash – automatically
situates Die Antwoord as liminal outsiders and interlopers.
In many ways, Die Antwoord resembles a circus
troupe of freaks: front man Ninja is golem-like
with his tattooed torso, Yo-landi Vi$$er resembles an
acidic nymph and DJ High Tek plods along in the
My analysis builds and expands on recognised correspondences
between the monstrous, the liminal and
the carnival. I show how liminal aspects (both monstrous
and carnivalesque) are cleverly co-opted by Die Antwoord
into a monstrous carnivalesque extravaganza,
whereby the liminal is converted into a suspended
moment of consumption. The extent to which liminality
is suspended and advanced as a consumable
entity by Die Antwoord forms the primary focus of
this investigation, after which the possibility of understanding
the liminal in terms of affects is briefly explored.
I argue that even that which is supposedly outside
consumerist instrumentality, namely the limen,
with its life-altering and transformative possibilities,
can, to some degree, be aligned and made subservient
to consumerist ideals.