Boy.Brother.Friend is a print publication and digital platform which seeks to examine the diaspora and male identities through contemporary art, fashion, and theory.

Team
Kk Obi, Founder & Creative Director
Priscilla Yeboah-Newton, Creative Producer
Jules Banide, Art Director
Dan Adeyemi, Digital Director & Site Design

Boy.Brother.Friend

by PRIM

PRIM AND BURBERRY COLLABORATE FOR THE PRIM CON-TEMPORARY BOOKSHOP + EXHIBITION

Dedicated to educating, connecting, documenting and sharing the bountiful Black storytelling mediums that exist, PRIM is a is a storytelling platform with a point to prove, and plenty powerful stories to tell. To this end, they have amassed a trail of impactful collaborations with British Vogue, Aesop, Youtube, Dazed and the British Fashion Council.

The latest collaboration comes on the second edition of the PRIM pop-up bookshop. This year sees PRIM team up with British luxury fashion house, Burberry to foster a reading culture and improve the general understanding of the way that books can create vibrations that cultivate ideas and open vistas for change and progress.

“This is a real moment for Black British authors, writers, artists and those creating and sharing stories in every medium. Support from Burberry in this way means the world to us and it’s great way to kick off PRIM’s year on year commitment to platform storytellers of Black ancestry”

K Bailey Obazee, PRIM

The 4-day pop-up bookshop is kicks off on Thursday 13th of October and is stacked with activities designed and selected to display how far the creativity within the queer Black community can go. Also, ‘POWER IN READING’, Directed by London filmmaker - Sannchia Gaston, premieres as PRIM’s debut film with support from Burberry, will be screened at the pop-up space along with an exhibition by London based Fashion & Advertising Photographer and artist Cameron Ugbodu.

Performances lined up include poetry readings hosted by Chloe Filani, free portrait sessions with Bernice Mulenga, a special Vogue Ball with The House of Bodega, as well as appearances by TAWIAH, Kadeem Tyrell and TianaMajor9.

 “The power of storytelling can amplify unheard voices and create a unified understanding of lived experiences. We are excited to come together with PRIM to showcase different voices from the Black community, both through UK Black History Month and beyond, as we hope conversations that begin through the activation continue and grow. By creating inclusive platforms for individuals to explore their creativity and expand their knowledge, we can take meaningful steps toward a more inclusive future.”

Geoffrey Williams, VP of DE&I at Burberry

Amongst other activities, guests will be able to come play on open decks, relax and read within a space designed by set designer and art director, Jade Adeyemi. A basketball tournament is also on the line, supported by Nike, hosted on the roof with a stunning view of the North Greenwich locale.

This coming-together of multi-layered diasporic authors and artists promises to be filled with titles across literature, sports, culture, art and fashion, all of which have been written by Black authors or center on either African, Caribbean or Afro-Latinx stories.

For more information,  head to www.prim.black/schedule.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

PRIM AND BURBERRY COLLABORATE FOR THE PRIM CON-TEMPORARY BOOKSHOP + EXHIBITION

Dedicated to educating, connecting, documenting and sharing the bountiful Black storytelling mediums that exist, PRIM is a is a storytelling platform with a point to prove, and plenty powerful stories to tell. To this end, they have amassed a trail of impactful collaborations with British Vogue, Aesop, Youtube, Dazed and the British Fashion Council.

The latest collaboration comes on the second edition of the PRIM pop-up bookshop. This year sees PRIM team up with British luxury fashion house, Burberry to foster a reading culture and improve the general understanding of the way that books can create vibrations that cultivate ideas and open vistas for change and progress.

“This is a real moment for Black British authors, writers, artists and those creating and sharing stories in every medium. Support from Burberry in this way means the world to us and it’s great way to kick off PRIM’s year on year commitment to platform storytellers of Black ancestry”

K Bailey Obazee, PRIM

The 4-day pop-up bookshop is kicks off on Thursday 13th of October and is stacked with activities designed and selected to display how far the creativity within the queer Black community can go. Also, ‘POWER IN READING’, Directed by London filmmaker - Sannchia Gaston, premieres as PRIM’s debut film with support from Burberry, will be screened at the pop-up space along with an exhibition by London based Fashion & Advertising Photographer and artist Cameron Ugbodu.

Performances lined up include poetry readings hosted by Chloe Filani, free portrait sessions with Bernice Mulenga, a special Vogue Ball with The House of Bodega, as well as appearances by TAWIAH, Kadeem Tyrell and TianaMajor9.

 “The power of storytelling can amplify unheard voices and create a unified understanding of lived experiences. We are excited to come together with PRIM to showcase different voices from the Black community, both through UK Black History Month and beyond, as we hope conversations that begin through the activation continue and grow. By creating inclusive platforms for individuals to explore their creativity and expand their knowledge, we can take meaningful steps toward a more inclusive future.”

Geoffrey Williams, VP of DE&I at Burberry

Amongst other activities, guests will be able to come play on open decks, relax and read within a space designed by set designer and art director, Jade Adeyemi. A basketball tournament is also on the line, supported by Nike, hosted on the roof with a stunning view of the North Greenwich locale.

This coming-together of multi-layered diasporic authors and artists promises to be filled with titles across literature, sports, culture, art and fashion, all of which have been written by Black authors or center on either African, Caribbean or Afro-Latinx stories.

For more information,  head to www.prim.black/schedule.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by Jermaine Francis

‘A Storied Ground’

Jermaine Francis makes a case for the black body on British grounds

The interaction between the terrain and the individual is a very interesting and essential one. With ‘A Storied Ground’, Jermaine Francis seeks to exploit the visuality of British Landscape painting in the tradition of such important figures as Sir Thomas Gainsboroguh, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir John Constable to upturn the visual culture that produced the art and photography that have come to be perceived as classic and elite. Of course, the definition of what is classic and elite for the longest time has been wealthy white landowners, dressed in the finest garments of the time and enjoying leisure activities that were decidedly of the titled class

Photography intended to highlight the wide connection between living individuals and the landscape, does more than generate an aesthetic – it tells a story. So, with ‘A Storied Ground’, Jermaine Francis utilizes the centrality of the body occupying space, compelling the audience to reconsider who is, or can be considered a natural occupant of the vast and homely British landscape.

This project, which is ongoing at the prestigious galeriepcp in Paris, takes the black body and places it within those landscapes with an undaunted prevalence as well as a natural ease, because it is supposed to feel like home. In manner of poses and ambience, participants of these photographs do not attempt to offer a justification of their placement in and on the landscape: they operate on the right to occupy that space without need for explanation. The lack of textual narrative in the exhibition, gives the viewer more room to engage the statements being made by these methodically intentional photographs and challenges the viewer to regard the black body within the landscape as neutral and with agency, as being in harmony with and not as an anomaly to that landscape.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

‘A Storied Ground’

Jermaine Francis makes a case for the black body on British grounds

The interaction between the terrain and the individual is a very interesting and essential one. With ‘A Storied Ground’, Jermaine Francis seeks to exploit the visuality of British Landscape painting in the tradition of such important figures as Sir Thomas Gainsboroguh, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir John Constable to upturn the visual culture that produced the art and photography that have come to be perceived as classic and elite. Of course, the definition of what is classic and elite for the longest time has been wealthy white landowners, dressed in the finest garments of the time and enjoying leisure activities that were decidedly of the titled class

Photography intended to highlight the wide connection between living individuals and the landscape, does more than generate an aesthetic – it tells a story. So, with ‘A Storied Ground’, Jermaine Francis utilizes the centrality of the body occupying space, compelling the audience to reconsider who is, or can be considered a natural occupant of the vast and homely British landscape.

This project, which is ongoing at the prestigious galeriepcp in Paris, takes the black body and places it within those landscapes with an undaunted prevalence as well as a natural ease, because it is supposed to feel like home. In manner of poses and ambience, participants of these photographs do not attempt to offer a justification of their placement in and on the landscape: they operate on the right to occupy that space without need for explanation. The lack of textual narrative in the exhibition, gives the viewer more room to engage the statements being made by these methodically intentional photographs and challenges the viewer to regard the black body within the landscape as neutral and with agency, as being in harmony with and not as an anomaly to that landscape.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by PFW SS23

‘Top Moments from Paris Fashion Week SS23’

As seen by Boy.Brother.Friend Editors

With in-person shows making a full return, luxury houses and fashion lines pulled many stops with their offerings - Rick Owens’s orb of fire and Louis Vuitton’s marching band tribute to the late, great Virgil Abloh. But beyond the spectacle, it’s the designs that hit the runway that will define the trends of the season.

For Spring 2023 Menswear, Rick Owens employed the theme of ‘The Apocalypse’. The runway was graced by models wearing outfits worthy of the end of days. Three 2-meter long orbs were set alight by technicians, slowly lifted by crane high above the audience, and then dropped for sizzling impact in the Palais de Tokyo fountain to further drive home the prevalence of an Armageddon-esque setting.

Down to the fashion, the models donned very daring outfits with some wearing pale, flowing fits, ready to wear in a sojourn through the scorching sands of the desert, or the chilly terrain of a post-apocalyptic world. With this fashion offering, Rick Owens harnesses the innate human fear of our extinction to create high art. The dystopian atmosphere on display is credited to the fact that Owens had been in Egypt, inspiring him to title the collection ‘Edfu’, after the site of the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus.

For Craig Green’s Spring 2023 Menswear, he takes us on a journey from the runway to many different places. The clothing in this collection are evidently tailored (or structured) to invoke a sense of movement, of travel… of “journey”. Green establishes his own private iconography; through the symbols within the stories the wears tell, and the atmospheres they evoke. The first model to step on stage in Craig Green had a pair of stirrups swinging from his belt. This ‘in-your face’ imagery emphasizes the ability of creativity in fashion, not only to take us on journeys, but also to land us in different destinations, and in Craig Green’s situation, a better place, possibly somewhere off this world; somewhere on a mystical plane, a utopia.

Eclectic designer, Mowalola Ogunlesi, for her Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection, made an appearance after a three-year hiatus from the runway with a bow, to a raucous welcome. Her return was one of realization of boundlessness of her own creative expression. In conversation with Vogue Business before her Paris debut, Mowalola was quoted, saying “Before, I would cut myself off from expressing in certain ways because I thought I shouldn’t do that,”.  This intrepid desire to express oneself in freedom seeps into Ogunlesi’s own clothing and her first solo show since partaking in Fashion East for more than a few seasons. It would also influence the thematic direction she took for her Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection, as she outlandishly drew inspiration from thievery and criminality, titling her collection “Burglarwear” inspired by criminals from all walks if life, from kidnappers to stockbrokers and the priesthood. The clothes ranged from extreme, primeval covering, to stylish nudity. With this collection, Mowalola sought to combat gendered views of sex appeal, citing that as her reason for having both women and men showing nipples. Mowalola believes in the idea of weaponizing clothes, and other fashion items, assign of her willingness to fight for her right to express herself, on her own terms, through fashion.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

‘Top Moments from Paris Fashion Week SS23’

As seen by Boy.Brother.Friend Editors

With in-person shows making a full return, luxury houses and fashion lines pulled many stops with their offerings - Rick Owens’s orb of fire and Louis Vuitton’s marching band tribute to the late, great Virgil Abloh. But beyond the spectacle, it’s the designs that hit the runway that will define the trends of the season.

For Spring 2023 Menswear, Rick Owens employed the theme of ‘The Apocalypse’. The runway was graced by models wearing outfits worthy of the end of days. Three 2-meter long orbs were set alight by technicians, slowly lifted by crane high above the audience, and then dropped for sizzling impact in the Palais de Tokyo fountain to further drive home the prevalence of an Armageddon-esque setting.

Down to the fashion, the models donned very daring outfits with some wearing pale, flowing fits, ready to wear in a sojourn through the scorching sands of the desert, or the chilly terrain of a post-apocalyptic world. With this fashion offering, Rick Owens harnesses the innate human fear of our extinction to create high art. The dystopian atmosphere on display is credited to the fact that Owens had been in Egypt, inspiring him to title the collection ‘Edfu’, after the site of the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus.

For Craig Green’s Spring 2023 Menswear, he takes us on a journey from the runway to many different places. The clothing in this collection are evidently tailored (or structured) to invoke a sense of movement, of travel… of “journey”. Green establishes his own private iconography; through the symbols within the stories the wears tell, and the atmospheres they evoke. The first model to step on stage in Craig Green had a pair of stirrups swinging from his belt. This ‘in-your face’ imagery emphasizes the ability of creativity in fashion, not only to take us on journeys, but also to land us in different destinations, and in Craig Green’s situation, a better place, possibly somewhere off this world; somewhere on a mystical plane, a utopia.

Eclectic designer, Mowalola Ogunlesi, for her Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection, made an appearance after a three-year hiatus from the runway with a bow, to a raucous welcome. Her return was one of realization of boundlessness of her own creative expression. In conversation with Vogue Business before her Paris debut, Mowalola was quoted, saying “Before, I would cut myself off from expressing in certain ways because I thought I shouldn’t do that,”.  This intrepid desire to express oneself in freedom seeps into Ogunlesi’s own clothing and her first solo show since partaking in Fashion East for more than a few seasons. It would also influence the thematic direction she took for her Spring 2023 Ready-To-Wear collection, as she outlandishly drew inspiration from thievery and criminality, titling her collection “Burglarwear” inspired by criminals from all walks if life, from kidnappers to stockbrokers and the priesthood. The clothes ranged from extreme, primeval covering, to stylish nudity. With this collection, Mowalola sought to combat gendered views of sex appeal, citing that as her reason for having both women and men showing nipples. Mowalola believes in the idea of weaponizing clothes, and other fashion items, assign of her willingness to fight for her right to express herself, on her own terms, through fashion.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by MFW SS23

‘Top Moments from Milan Fashion Week SS23’

As seen by Boy.Brother.Friend Editors

The Prada Men's SS23 Fashion Show was on display with several special guests in attendance including dell Beckham Jr., Kimberly Drew, Michael Elmgreen, Theaster Gates, Ncuti Gatwa, Jeff Goldblum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Damson Idris, Jaehyun, Song Kang, Rami Malek, Metawin Opas-iamkajorn, Tyler Mitchell, Louis Partridge, Manu Rios, Filippo Scotti, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, among the others. The show was performed in very meticulously designed show spaces that featured pastel colors and checkered curtains. The models were clothed in a wide variety of looks from traditional suit and tie to the unconventionality of checkered jackets and short, as well as long denim overalls amongst other things.

Also featured was the JW Anderson Men’s Spring Summer 2023 & Women’s Resort 23 collection. Described as a collection that asks to be looked at in perspective: from the peak of the selfie stick. The collection is designed to invoke the opinion of the viewer on the myriad of ‘fashions’ that arise from fragments created by crashing items of wearable clothing and non-wearable material like a handlebar, a skateboard, a door hinge, a pair of working gloves land on tops and sweatshirts just as they are.

The Moschino Spring/Summer 2023 menswear collection paid homage to the iconic oeuvre–and iconoclastic approach–of the late Tony Viramontes, an American artist, photographer and fashion illustrator. Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott worked together with Viramontes’ estate for part of this collection, borrowing Viramonte’s signature realism, grit, camp, and commercial appeal. The motifs, faces and figures in the collection are beautifully reproductions of the creative polymath’s pieces. The show featured a plethora of boldly colorful wears, a lot bearing print of Viramontes’ work.

The FENDI Men’s Spring/Summer 2023 Collection embodied everything FENDI represents – an approach that goes upside down and inside out – just like the FENDI emblem. It is also like the vocabulary of designer Silvia Venturini Fendi’s man, who is built on a constant play of contrasts and juxtapositions. She says

“It’s about a balance of decoration and simplicity… An ageless sense of freedom to play, as we rediscover the luxury of free time.”

The FENDI lineup carried the signature soulful curiosity that lies at the heart of the FENDI men’s universe, approaching summer dressing as a round-the-world ticket to holiday destinations near and far. The collection packed a playful punch of color mirroring the earth, sea and sky, from melon and indigo to ochre, putty, cornflower blue and silver grey.

The recurrent motifs of the JORDANLUCA SS23 were staged within a cool, and lurid cataclysm. The characters, propelled by events beyond their control, contended with threats of the existential kind like madness, annihilation and grizzly, premature death. The fashion of it was very intrepid, featuring an abundance of textiles, materials and patterns. The models were draped in intentionally ill-fitting clothing, enlarging the air around the runway. There were scar-like zips across suiting, placed crudely and ready to be ripped open in mimicry of the ripping off of a scab. Every piece was packed with symbolism as well as a sophisticated sense of style.

Presented by verses sent into the ether and recited over the telephone, ETRO’s Men’s Spring Summer 2023 Collection, titled - THE WILD POWER OF POETRY intended to celebrate the function of poetry as a utopia made true and a way of bringing shape to inner chaos. The collection encapsulated the warm feeling of summer with an eye-catching pallet of hues ranging from dry tan to warm mustard. The event was designed to replicate the circadian rhythm. The day ebbs slowly into a starry night run by metallic threads after opening in the white and neutral brightness of the morning. The event examined and displayed the reverent nature that fashion and poetry share.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

‘Top Moments from Milan Fashion Week SS23’

As seen by Boy.Brother.Friend Editors

The Prada Men's SS23 Fashion Show was on display with several special guests in attendance including dell Beckham Jr., Kimberly Drew, Michael Elmgreen, Theaster Gates, Ncuti Gatwa, Jeff Goldblum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Damson Idris, Jaehyun, Song Kang, Rami Malek, Metawin Opas-iamkajorn, Tyler Mitchell, Louis Partridge, Manu Rios, Filippo Scotti, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, among the others. The show was performed in very meticulously designed show spaces that featured pastel colors and checkered curtains. The models were clothed in a wide variety of looks from traditional suit and tie to the unconventionality of checkered jackets and short, as well as long denim overalls amongst other things.

Also featured was the JW Anderson Men’s Spring Summer 2023 & Women’s Resort 23 collection. Described as a collection that asks to be looked at in perspective: from the peak of the selfie stick. The collection is designed to invoke the opinion of the viewer on the myriad of ‘fashions’ that arise from fragments created by crashing items of wearable clothing and non-wearable material like a handlebar, a skateboard, a door hinge, a pair of working gloves land on tops and sweatshirts just as they are.

The Moschino Spring/Summer 2023 menswear collection paid homage to the iconic oeuvre–and iconoclastic approach–of the late Tony Viramontes, an American artist, photographer and fashion illustrator. Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott worked together with Viramontes’ estate for part of this collection, borrowing Viramonte’s signature realism, grit, camp, and commercial appeal. The motifs, faces and figures in the collection are beautifully reproductions of the creative polymath’s pieces. The show featured a plethora of boldly colorful wears, a lot bearing print of Viramontes’ work.

The FENDI Men’s Spring/Summer 2023 Collection embodied everything FENDI represents – an approach that goes upside down and inside out – just like the FENDI emblem. It is also like the vocabulary of designer Silvia Venturini Fendi’s man, who is built on a constant play of contrasts and juxtapositions. She says

“It’s about a balance of decoration and simplicity… An ageless sense of freedom to play, as we rediscover the luxury of free time.”

The FENDI lineup carried the signature soulful curiosity that lies at the heart of the FENDI men’s universe, approaching summer dressing as a round-the-world ticket to holiday destinations near and far. The collection packed a playful punch of color mirroring the earth, sea and sky, from melon and indigo to ochre, putty, cornflower blue and silver grey.

The recurrent motifs of the JORDANLUCA SS23 were staged within a cool, and lurid cataclysm. The characters, propelled by events beyond their control, contended with threats of the existential kind like madness, annihilation and grizzly, premature death. The fashion of it was very intrepid, featuring an abundance of textiles, materials and patterns. The models were draped in intentionally ill-fitting clothing, enlarging the air around the runway. There were scar-like zips across suiting, placed crudely and ready to be ripped open in mimicry of the ripping off of a scab. Every piece was packed with symbolism as well as a sophisticated sense of style.

Presented by verses sent into the ether and recited over the telephone, ETRO’s Men’s Spring Summer 2023 Collection, titled - THE WILD POWER OF POETRY intended to celebrate the function of poetry as a utopia made true and a way of bringing shape to inner chaos. The collection encapsulated the warm feeling of summer with an eye-catching pallet of hues ranging from dry tan to warm mustard. The event was designed to replicate the circadian rhythm. The day ebbs slowly into a starry night run by metallic threads after opening in the white and neutral brightness of the morning. The event examined and displayed the reverent nature that fashion and poetry share.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by Glenn Lutz

“There’s Light” is supposed to explore themes connected to Black male identities, sexuality, masculinity, and mental health. How will it approach these themes?

The themes were really approached from existence first. Because I’m speaking with black males in this book, It’s really a reflection of ourselves. And so, the topics that we were exploring were sexuality, masculinity, mental health and all of these different things within the different interviews were all kind of approaching different aspects of those things. But it really was a reflection of that existence and being, to be like “Yeah, this is who we are, let’s ask questions about ourselves” with the hope and the intention of healing, and collective storytelling. Retelling our story for others to learn from, and for ourselves to learn from.

The book features artwork from contemporary art legends and newer talent, what informed this range of artistry?

I just wanted to show a full scope. because truly, at our core, there isn’t a hierarchy with us as a species. We’ve put these things in place, but they’re really tools to distract us, I believe. They’re tools used in the meritocracy and competition. To make a lot of people feel better about themselves, and a way to divide people. But quite frankly, all of our stories and our expressions, and our questions and our loves and beliefs are all valid. And so, we’ve historically seen how black people have been marginalized all over the world and I think it would really be a shame, if in the collection, we say “oh, people who have been successful in the art world, are the only people whose work are worth being presented in a beautiful way. I’m really grateful to the design team that I collaborated with to be able to present it in a   way that honors the work, and as you can see in the book, the work is beautiful across different success levels. I’ve mentioned an artist a couple of times in interviews – Timothy Short, and there’s a trip-tick in the book that he did, and its brilliant work.  So just because an artist isn’t gallery-represented yet, doesn’t mean that their work isn’t amazing, and worthy to be seen and admired.

What does being a black man, in the various fields you have found yourself in feel like?

I think, a real answer would kind of go with, I guess the wide view is that I do believe we all have a soul and we’re all connected to something deeper. I think how we appear in this world is beautiful, and its cultural and based on nationality, and ethnicity. And those things are beautiful to relish in, but at the same time, we are who we are, and I think that we’re constantly unfolding and trying to find that within ourselves. So, I say that to say that being a black man, one of the things about this book is – maybe what are the things that we’ve told ourselves about being black, and not only a black man, but just black in general, and what that looks like across the world, and how that informs  who  we are, as far as inherited story, lineage, history, and what that means in the current moment, and going into the future and seeing things that our parents have gone through, and seeing how we relate to the world. So, I say that to say that I’ve always been black, and I’m proud to be black and I explore things that are specific to the black experience in my work. Things that I’ve experienced specifically because I’m black, or the history that’s in my DNA, and other people’s DNA. But, I also thought it was interesting with this book to think about how that reflects in different parts of the world as well. But for me, it kind of goes back to that “existence”. I think of how we express ourselves, because we’re not monolithic. So, there are infinite faces of our identity. So, yeah, I really just wanted to be as honest as possible with myself and my experience in my work and begin to examine for other people. Because I found that in the artists I appreciated – artists who were expressing themselves uniquely. I remember even being a kid, and seeing Lenny Kravitz, and thinking “that was different, I could do that”. Even just being presented with the question of who you are when you begin to peel back, and how you’d want to express that. That’s what I’m trying to do in my work, and that’s a great place to start.

 ‘There’s Light’ is the first book in a planned trilogy to include a co-authored book by a female author. Can you tell us more about this choice of direction?

I was talking to my good friend, Marco Pavé, who is actually interviewed in the book. He’s a hip-hop artist in residence at Georgetown, he’s an activist as well. We were discussing that at Georgetown University, where the theme in the African-American studies course this year was “Black Feminism”, and he said to me “It would be interesting if you came to the school and we had a panel discussion about this book”. And he was talking with his wife, who is also a teacher at Georgetown, and the fact that black masculinity, when we’re beginning to think about it, or ask questions about it, examine it, we find that it is hand in hand with black feminism, and the two exist together because they support each other, and we think about how we’re moving together as a unified people, and what roles they historically play. Then we can go back and think about certain stereotypes or tropes between the masculine and feminine as it relates to being in a household, or who brings in the money. But we’re seeing these things change, and we’re seeing how we relate and respond to each other, and how we find love, and how we understand each other. And also, breaking down the fears that both genders may have as we approach each other, and how we can begin to let go of those fears and be vulnerable in a healthy way with each other, and begin a unity. I really want to open that conversation and think about not only male and female, but people who identify as non-binary. I want to bring together all of our existence, and think about what that means in day-to-day life, and how our roles play out as a symphony, and are there inherent things for male or female. And I believe that we used to always believe that, but I’m interested in different hearing people’s opinions about it, and moving forward into a place of listening, rather than always presenting an idea and t hats why I think this is important. It’s about  listening, it’s about trying to understand and seeing where we meet and hearing people’s stories, and how we got to the places that we are. So, doing that in a space where we are all in the conversation I think is a necessary step. And in the first one, I did want to look specifically at masculinity, but with this book, I’m really interested in expanding that conversation. 

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

“There’s Light” is supposed to explore themes connected to Black male identities, sexuality, masculinity, and mental health. How will it approach these themes?

The themes were really approached from existence first. Because I’m speaking with black males in this book, It’s really a reflection of ourselves. And so, the topics that we were exploring were sexuality, masculinity, mental health and all of these different things within the different interviews were all kind of approaching different aspects of those things. But it really was a reflection of that existence and being, to be like “Yeah, this is who we are, let’s ask questions about ourselves” with the hope and the intention of healing, and collective storytelling. Retelling our story for others to learn from, and for ourselves to learn from.

The book features artwork from contemporary art legends and newer talent, what informed this range of artistry?

I just wanted to show a full scope. because truly, at our core, there isn’t a hierarchy with us as a species. We’ve put these things in place, but they’re really tools to distract us, I believe. They’re tools used in the meritocracy and competition. To make a lot of people feel better about themselves, and a way to divide people. But quite frankly, all of our stories and our expressions, and our questions and our loves and beliefs are all valid. And so, we’ve historically seen how black people have been marginalized all over the world and I think it would really be a shame, if in the collection, we say “oh, people who have been successful in the art world, are the only people whose work are worth being presented in a beautiful way. I’m really grateful to the design team that I collaborated with to be able to present it in a   way that honors the work, and as you can see in the book, the work is beautiful across different success levels. I’ve mentioned an artist a couple of times in interviews – Timothy Short, and there’s a trip-tick in the book that he did, and its brilliant work.  So just because an artist isn’t gallery-represented yet, doesn’t mean that their work isn’t amazing, and worthy to be seen and admired.

What does being a black man, in the various fields you have found yourself in feel like?

I think, a real answer would kind of go with, I guess the wide view is that I do believe we all have a soul and we’re all connected to something deeper. I think how we appear in this world is beautiful, and its cultural and based on nationality, and ethnicity. And those things are beautiful to relish in, but at the same time, we are who we are, and I think that we’re constantly unfolding and trying to find that within ourselves. So, I say that to say that being a black man, one of the things about this book is – maybe what are the things that we’ve told ourselves about being black, and not only a black man, but just black in general, and what that looks like across the world, and how that informs  who  we are, as far as inherited story, lineage, history, and what that means in the current moment, and going into the future and seeing things that our parents have gone through, and seeing how we relate to the world. So, I say that to say that I’ve always been black, and I’m proud to be black and I explore things that are specific to the black experience in my work. Things that I’ve experienced specifically because I’m black, or the history that’s in my DNA, and other people’s DNA. But, I also thought it was interesting with this book to think about how that reflects in different parts of the world as well. But for me, it kind of goes back to that “existence”. I think of how we express ourselves, because we’re not monolithic. So, there are infinite faces of our identity. So, yeah, I really just wanted to be as honest as possible with myself and my experience in my work and begin to examine for other people. Because I found that in the artists I appreciated – artists who were expressing themselves uniquely. I remember even being a kid, and seeing Lenny Kravitz, and thinking “that was different, I could do that”. Even just being presented with the question of who you are when you begin to peel back, and how you’d want to express that. That’s what I’m trying to do in my work, and that’s a great place to start.

 ‘There’s Light’ is the first book in a planned trilogy to include a co-authored book by a female author. Can you tell us more about this choice of direction?

I was talking to my good friend, Marco Pavé, who is actually interviewed in the book. He’s a hip-hop artist in residence at Georgetown, he’s an activist as well. We were discussing that at Georgetown University, where the theme in the African-American studies course this year was “Black Feminism”, and he said to me “It would be interesting if you came to the school and we had a panel discussion about this book”. And he was talking with his wife, who is also a teacher at Georgetown, and the fact that black masculinity, when we’re beginning to think about it, or ask questions about it, examine it, we find that it is hand in hand with black feminism, and the two exist together because they support each other, and we think about how we’re moving together as a unified people, and what roles they historically play. Then we can go back and think about certain stereotypes or tropes between the masculine and feminine as it relates to being in a household, or who brings in the money. But we’re seeing these things change, and we’re seeing how we relate and respond to each other, and how we find love, and how we understand each other. And also, breaking down the fears that both genders may have as we approach each other, and how we can begin to let go of those fears and be vulnerable in a healthy way with each other, and begin a unity. I really want to open that conversation and think about not only male and female, but people who identify as non-binary. I want to bring together all of our existence, and think about what that means in day-to-day life, and how our roles play out as a symphony, and are there inherent things for male or female. And I believe that we used to always believe that, but I’m interested in different hearing people’s opinions about it, and moving forward into a place of listening, rather than always presenting an idea and t hats why I think this is important. It’s about  listening, it’s about trying to understand and seeing where we meet and hearing people’s stories, and how we got to the places that we are. So, doing that in a space where we are all in the conversation I think is a necessary step. And in the first one, I did want to look specifically at masculinity, but with this book, I’m really interested in expanding that conversation. 

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by Kk Obi

EDITOR’S LETTER

In my letter for Boy.Brother.Friend issue 3, ‘Movement and Migration’ I was bold enough to share the then recent passing of my father Engr Chukwunweike Onyeamaechi Obi, KSC to COVID-19 complications. I also mentioned my father in my letters in issue 1 and 2 for various reasons, which he read and acknowledged in his silent way, after which my Aunt said a prayer and blessed the issue. Those of us who are fortunate enough to know and be raised by our biological or non biological fathers can attest to how that shapes us and our entire belief system. Myself and family are devastated. Impressing my father has aways been my ultimate goal in life, which has not been easy at times for a Queer Nigerian first child and son, so I have had to rethink and re-visit those ambitions and Value-Systems. This led me to the starting point for Boy.Brother.Friend Issue 4 and its theme of ‘Value’.

I retreated inwards for my research on this issue to the familiar names and voices that have shaped my creative consciousness and settled on sub-themes: The Importance of Being Earnest, Moral Code, Family Values, & RWA – Rich With an Attitude. During the intense and traumatic process of planning my father's funeral I took my first ever trip to Accra, Ghana which we intended to be our geographical focus for the issue. There I met close friends and Boy.Brother.Friend co-inceptors Priscilla Yeboah-Newton and Emmanuel Balogun.

Historically, West Africa has been a prime fiscal value resource for western countries. We measure this with colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade and more recently exportation of natural recourses. West African exports to the EU accounted for €22.4 Billion in 2020 consisting mostly of Oil and Gas and food products. Ghana, like Nigeria and some other West African countries, is a former British colony and used to be called the Gold Coast. In the transatlantic slave trade era, Europeans identified the region as the Gold Coast because of the large supplies of and market for Gold that existed there. Ghana became the first West African country to gain its independence from British colonialists in 1957.

I met Moses Sumney at the David Adjaye designed Sandbox Beach Club for a function being hosted by actress Michaela Coel. He was in head to toe black and exuded so much confidence we instantly became friendly. He told me how home-coming was extremely important to him and his practice as a Musician/Artist amongst other things. We continued speaking and met again in London where we walked the Burberry by Riccardo Tisci London Fashion Week show and again in Venice where he gave an incredible performance for the opening of Kehinde Wiley’s solo show An Archeology of Science at the Fondazione Giorgo Cini for the 59th Venice Biennale. Legendary Dutch photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have been vocal supporters of Boy.Brother.Friend since we launched, so it only made sense to suggest a portrait sitting with Moses, which they loved. Supported by Burberry and Riccardo Tisci we made some striking imagery for No one can really define my Blackness. It is mine to define. Moses was interviewed by writer, creative producer and fellow Ghanian Ekow Barnes.

Lu Philippe Guilmette joins Boy.Brother. Friend as contributing Fashion Director. In Face Value he recruited photographic artist Pieter Hugo to create a masterclass in beauty story making. They unpack various types of value signifiers in a superbly grotesque kind of way.

If you look at all our previous issues one name pops up every time. So when we found out Adjoa Armah's first traveling solo exhibition was in the works we knew we had to be involved in some way. Adjoa is an artist, educator, writer and editor with a background in design anthropology. Her practice is concerned with the entanglement between narrative, the archive, pedagogy, black ontology, infrapolitics, and spatial consciousness. She is founder of Saman Archive, a gathering of photographic negatives encountered across Ghana, through which she explores models of institution building grounded in Akan temporalities and West African technologies of social and historical mediation. In her show The Sea it Slopes Like a Mountain with Auto Italia, Adjoa sets out to translate a series of trips into the language of an exhibition. Adjoa documented and travelled 330 miles along the Ghanian coast from Beyin to Keta, a stretch of sand, soil and rock with more European former slave forts than anywhere else on the African continent. Using sand gathered from the locations of personal significance she sculpted objects selected for their function as sonic, linguistic, spiritual and historical technologies. In The Sea, the Shores and its Memories Adjoa spoke to Tate Modern's International Curator Osei Bonsu about how all this came together and the next steps for this exhibition which continues on to the Nubuke Foundation.

Earlier this year we were approached by good friend Charlene Prempeh and her creative agency A Vibe Called Tech to create a selection of satirical stories for internet file transfer service WeTransfer’s content platform WePresent. I styled Paul Mendez in a previous issue of Fantastic Man and had great funny conversations that centred around Black queer experiences in London. In Three Stories of Blackness, Queerness and Masculinity, Paul conjured up three very witty and very relatable scenarios which then inspired the brilliant illustrations by artist Alex Mein.

I first encountered Paa Joe’s work in a London art galley thinking it was a sculpture of a vintage Mercedes Benz car, not knowing it was a Coffin. Paa Joe is considered one of the most important Ghanaian coffin artists of his generation. In Looking Through Generations With Paa Joe, Paa speaks to Junior Editors Nelson C.J and Jojolola Dopamu about fantasy coffin making and the value systems that enable him, at 75 years of age, to continue to create. Elsewhere in the issue we explore thought text pieces from Kareem Reid, Reece Ewing, Jeri Hilt, Matthew Benson, Mahoro Seward, Juergen Strohmayer and more.

This issue took longer than expected to finish, I'm uncertain if its because I am still grieving. But putting it together has been a kind of therapy. Proper professional therapy is still needed on my part, but what gets me through is knowing that my father always wanted the best for me, which allows me to want and strive for the best for myself and in turn hopefully delivering the best for you. Hold your friends and loved ones close at all times.

With Love…

Kk Obi

EDITOR’S LETTER

In my letter for Boy.Brother.Friend issue 3, ‘Movement and Migration’ I was bold enough to share the then recent passing of my father Engr Chukwunweike Onyeamaechi Obi, KSC to COVID-19 complications. I also mentioned my father in my letters in issue 1 and 2 for various reasons, which he read and acknowledged in his silent way, after which my Aunt said a prayer and blessed the issue. Those of us who are fortunate enough to know and be raised by our biological or non biological fathers can attest to how that shapes us and our entire belief system. Myself and family are devastated. Impressing my father has aways been my ultimate goal in life, which has not been easy at times for a Queer Nigerian first child and son, so I have had to rethink and re-visit those ambitions and Value-Systems. This led me to the starting point for Boy.Brother.Friend Issue 4 and its theme of ‘Value’.

I retreated inwards for my research on this issue to the familiar names and voices that have shaped my creative consciousness and settled on sub-themes: The Importance of Being Earnest, Moral Code, Family Values, & RWA – Rich With an Attitude. During the intense and traumatic process of planning my father's funeral I took my first ever trip to Accra, Ghana which we intended to be our geographical focus for the issue. There I met close friends and Boy.Brother.Friend co-inceptors Priscilla Yeboah-Newton and Emmanuel Balogun.

Historically, West Africa has been a prime fiscal value resource for western countries. We measure this with colonialism, the transatlantic slave trade and more recently exportation of natural recourses. West African exports to the EU accounted for €22.4 Billion in 2020 consisting mostly of Oil and Gas and food products. Ghana, like Nigeria and some other West African countries, is a former British colony and used to be called the Gold Coast. In the transatlantic slave trade era, Europeans identified the region as the Gold Coast because of the large supplies of and market for Gold that existed there. Ghana became the first West African country to gain its independence from British colonialists in 1957.

I met Moses Sumney at the David Adjaye designed Sandbox Beach Club for a function being hosted by actress Michaela Coel. He was in head to toe black and exuded so much confidence we instantly became friendly. He told me how home-coming was extremely important to him and his practice as a Musician/Artist amongst other things. We continued speaking and met again in London where we walked the Burberry by Riccardo Tisci London Fashion Week show and again in Venice where he gave an incredible performance for the opening of Kehinde Wiley’s solo show An Archeology of Science at the Fondazione Giorgo Cini for the 59th Venice Biennale. Legendary Dutch photographers Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin have been vocal supporters of Boy.Brother.Friend since we launched, so it only made sense to suggest a portrait sitting with Moses, which they loved. Supported by Burberry and Riccardo Tisci we made some striking imagery for No one can really define my Blackness. It is mine to define. Moses was interviewed by writer, creative producer and fellow Ghanian Ekow Barnes.

Lu Philippe Guilmette joins Boy.Brother. Friend as contributing Fashion Director. In Face Value he recruited photographic artist Pieter Hugo to create a masterclass in beauty story making. They unpack various types of value signifiers in a superbly grotesque kind of way.

If you look at all our previous issues one name pops up every time. So when we found out Adjoa Armah's first traveling solo exhibition was in the works we knew we had to be involved in some way. Adjoa is an artist, educator, writer and editor with a background in design anthropology. Her practice is concerned with the entanglement between narrative, the archive, pedagogy, black ontology, infrapolitics, and spatial consciousness. She is founder of Saman Archive, a gathering of photographic negatives encountered across Ghana, through which she explores models of institution building grounded in Akan temporalities and West African technologies of social and historical mediation. In her show The Sea it Slopes Like a Mountain with Auto Italia, Adjoa sets out to translate a series of trips into the language of an exhibition. Adjoa documented and travelled 330 miles along the Ghanian coast from Beyin to Keta, a stretch of sand, soil and rock with more European former slave forts than anywhere else on the African continent. Using sand gathered from the locations of personal significance she sculpted objects selected for their function as sonic, linguistic, spiritual and historical technologies. In The Sea, the Shores and its Memories Adjoa spoke to Tate Modern's International Curator Osei Bonsu about how all this came together and the next steps for this exhibition which continues on to the Nubuke Foundation.

Earlier this year we were approached by good friend Charlene Prempeh and her creative agency A Vibe Called Tech to create a selection of satirical stories for internet file transfer service WeTransfer’s content platform WePresent. I styled Paul Mendez in a previous issue of Fantastic Man and had great funny conversations that centred around Black queer experiences in London. In Three Stories of Blackness, Queerness and Masculinity, Paul conjured up three very witty and very relatable scenarios which then inspired the brilliant illustrations by artist Alex Mein.

I first encountered Paa Joe’s work in a London art galley thinking it was a sculpture of a vintage Mercedes Benz car, not knowing it was a Coffin. Paa Joe is considered one of the most important Ghanaian coffin artists of his generation. In Looking Through Generations With Paa Joe, Paa speaks to Junior Editors Nelson C.J and Jojolola Dopamu about fantasy coffin making and the value systems that enable him, at 75 years of age, to continue to create. Elsewhere in the issue we explore thought text pieces from Kareem Reid, Reece Ewing, Jeri Hilt, Matthew Benson, Mahoro Seward, Juergen Strohmayer and more.

This issue took longer than expected to finish, I'm uncertain if its because I am still grieving. But putting it together has been a kind of therapy. Proper professional therapy is still needed on my part, but what gets me through is knowing that my father always wanted the best for me, which allows me to want and strive for the best for myself and in turn hopefully delivering the best for you. Hold your friends and loved ones close at all times.

With Love…

Kk Obi

by The Standard Ibiza

THE STANDARD, IBIZA OPENS ITS DOORS

Located in the heart of Old Town, just steps from the waterfront along the pedestrian-only Vara de Rey, The Standard, Ibiza offers a fresh new take on the Ibiza of today while embracing the island’s rich past. Popular for it’s for its nightlife and electronic dance music club scene, especially in the summer. Tapping into the exotic atmosphere of the ancient city, The Standard has extended itself further into Europe, this being the furtherance of the hugely successful launch of The Standard, London.

Formed in 1999, and with branches in marquee locations across the globe including in New York, Miami, London, the Maldives, and Hua Hin in Thailand, and launching in Hollywood, The Standard hotels are well known for their pioneering design, and taste-making clientele.

The Standard, Ibiza is aiming to revive the energy of local crowds, providing a new and vibrant hang-out in the Old Town for locals and tourists to enjoy at every point of the year. Containing 67 rooms and suites, the hotel includes a private residence Casa Privada, a street-level all-day restaurant, Jara and a rooftop pool and hideout. CEO of Standard International, Amber Asher, commented

“Ibiza embodies the iconoclastic spirit that defines everything we do at The Standard — high style and an irrepressible sense of fun, passion and surprise. We’re delighted to make our mark on this singular place and thrilled to welcome our first guests to the hotel. This arrival feels like a homecoming.”

The main hotel is designed to pay homage to the uncomplicated sophistication of Ibizan life. The streamlined, white hotel, is a stark style statement in concurrence with the centuries of sun-bleached masonry typical to Ibiza. Breathtaking on the inside, as much as the outside, the hotel is outfitted with bright and eclectic décor. The rooftop pool and restaurant provide guests with a gaze-worthy view of the city’s iconic Castle of Ibiza, as well as a spot to mingle socialize and just recline. Regardless of the fact that there is an abundance of daytime activities, The Standard, Ibiza doesn’t go to sleep early, as the evening develops into a good time where fresh cuisine turns to more (and more) cocktails, and an air of seduction and mischief can be felt, as guests wine and dine at the ground floor restaurant or on the roof underneath a picturesque view of the night sky.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

THE STANDARD, IBIZA OPENS ITS DOORS

Located in the heart of Old Town, just steps from the waterfront along the pedestrian-only Vara de Rey, The Standard, Ibiza offers a fresh new take on the Ibiza of today while embracing the island’s rich past. Popular for it’s for its nightlife and electronic dance music club scene, especially in the summer. Tapping into the exotic atmosphere of the ancient city, The Standard has extended itself further into Europe, this being the furtherance of the hugely successful launch of The Standard, London.

Formed in 1999, and with branches in marquee locations across the globe including in New York, Miami, London, the Maldives, and Hua Hin in Thailand, and launching in Hollywood, The Standard hotels are well known for their pioneering design, and taste-making clientele.

The Standard, Ibiza is aiming to revive the energy of local crowds, providing a new and vibrant hang-out in the Old Town for locals and tourists to enjoy at every point of the year. Containing 67 rooms and suites, the hotel includes a private residence Casa Privada, a street-level all-day restaurant, Jara and a rooftop pool and hideout. CEO of Standard International, Amber Asher, commented

“Ibiza embodies the iconoclastic spirit that defines everything we do at The Standard — high style and an irrepressible sense of fun, passion and surprise. We’re delighted to make our mark on this singular place and thrilled to welcome our first guests to the hotel. This arrival feels like a homecoming.”

The main hotel is designed to pay homage to the uncomplicated sophistication of Ibizan life. The streamlined, white hotel, is a stark style statement in concurrence with the centuries of sun-bleached masonry typical to Ibiza. Breathtaking on the inside, as much as the outside, the hotel is outfitted with bright and eclectic décor. The rooftop pool and restaurant provide guests with a gaze-worthy view of the city’s iconic Castle of Ibiza, as well as a spot to mingle socialize and just recline. Regardless of the fact that there is an abundance of daytime activities, The Standard, Ibiza doesn’t go to sleep early, as the evening develops into a good time where fresh cuisine turns to more (and more) cocktails, and an air of seduction and mischief can be felt, as guests wine and dine at the ground floor restaurant or on the roof underneath a picturesque view of the night sky.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by T.H.O.M

 

“T.H.O.M is an ode to anyone who has had to work harder and in turn have come to expect better”

These words, spoken by Cyndia Harvey, co-founder of Black hair care brand – This Hair of Mine (also known as T.H.O.M) are as direct as possible in describing the target audience and the core value of the brand-new company.

In an era when black hair and the sacred rituals that accompany owning it are given a spotlight, T.H.O.M exists as more than a beauty brand, but a space for visibility and freedom of expression. The intention behind both the branding and the science of T.H.O.M is to be more than a mere hair care brand, but a way of making hair care practice for black individuals reflective of their heritage, and all it has taken to reach a point where black hair can be respected, and even venerated.

Scheduled for launch on the 31st of May, 2022, T.H.O.M was born as a result of the joint vision of Artist, Remi Ajani, and world-renowned hairstylist, Cyndia Harvey. Growing up in Jamaica, Harvey’s interest in hair began in her mother’s salon and further nurtured on the shop floor in one of London's busiest black hair salons. Her work combines both a uniquely carefree and technical precision that celebrates black hair in its raw glory. Harvey has functioned as the creative director and Hair Stylist for a short film project sharing the same title with the name of the brand. An exposé on the lives of black female immigrants in London in relation to their hair.

Possessing an abundance of experience at the points where fashion, beauty and culture converge, Ajani and Harvey have been working closely with world-class chemists, combining the factors of science, nature and people. They have decided to launch the brand with a scalp serum expertly formulated with blends of plant-based ingredients, researched, refined and subjected to the latest in scientific advances. Because good growth starts with respect for the source, the Scalp Serum is designed to slot seamlessly into existing hair care rituals, becoming the first essential step in facilitating the best hair of your life.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

 

“T.H.O.M is an ode to anyone who has had to work harder and in turn have come to expect better”

These words, spoken by Cyndia Harvey, co-founder of Black hair care brand – This Hair of Mine (also known as T.H.O.M) are as direct as possible in describing the target audience and the core value of the brand-new company.

In an era when black hair and the sacred rituals that accompany owning it are given a spotlight, T.H.O.M exists as more than a beauty brand, but a space for visibility and freedom of expression. The intention behind both the branding and the science of T.H.O.M is to be more than a mere hair care brand, but a way of making hair care practice for black individuals reflective of their heritage, and all it has taken to reach a point where black hair can be respected, and even venerated.

Scheduled for launch on the 31st of May, 2022, T.H.O.M was born as a result of the joint vision of Artist, Remi Ajani, and world-renowned hairstylist, Cyndia Harvey. Growing up in Jamaica, Harvey’s interest in hair began in her mother’s salon and further nurtured on the shop floor in one of London's busiest black hair salons. Her work combines both a uniquely carefree and technical precision that celebrates black hair in its raw glory. Harvey has functioned as the creative director and Hair Stylist for a short film project sharing the same title with the name of the brand. An exposé on the lives of black female immigrants in London in relation to their hair.

Possessing an abundance of experience at the points where fashion, beauty and culture converge, Ajani and Harvey have been working closely with world-class chemists, combining the factors of science, nature and people. They have decided to launch the brand with a scalp serum expertly formulated with blends of plant-based ingredients, researched, refined and subjected to the latest in scientific advances. Because good growth starts with respect for the source, the Scalp Serum is designed to slot seamlessly into existing hair care rituals, becoming the first essential step in facilitating the best hair of your life.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by Sandra Poulson

Born in 1995 in Lisbon, Portugal, Sandra Poulson is a visual artist who lives and works between London and Luanda. Poulson’s work covers the political, cultural and socio-economic landscape of Angola as a case study for examining the connection between history, oral tradition and global
political structures.

Focusing on her experience with local Luanda, and its history and knowledge to
investigate and discover how micro political moments reverberate into macro politics. In her creativity, she makes use of “inherited societal memory”, which encapsulates the shared memories of the many wrongs from Angola’s colonial era and the Angolan civil war to take apart contemporary narratives using semiotic and archaeological studies of common objects as figures in political and cultural ongoing transformations.

Between the 13th of May and the 30th of June 2022, Poulsen has begun with the ‘Economy of Dust’ exhibition. She developed these installations during her residency at V.O Curations in central London. The artwork in this exhibition is reflective of the artist’s personal experience of growing up in Luanda, Angola. The exhibition is displayed across two gallery spaces. the artist took the ever-present dust in the city, central to its geographic location, and put it in a gallery to reflect on Luanda’s economic, social and cultural landscape. The works are made in fabric, a material that bears importance in constructing the way our bodies navigate the world, with each element pattern cut and handsewn.

In the capital of Angola – Luanda, the dust is a stable and reliable resource, while at the same time many jobs and daily activities are focused on the effort to erase any traces of it. This brings about a duality of perspective that forms the narrative that Poulsen uses to ponder on how something so seemingly unwanted happens to be an essential part that shapes the local society. Structured around moments of meeting and intersecting, ‘Economy of the Dust’ references the elementary architectural language of Luanda which include objects, environments and circumstances that make up the structure of the city of Luanda.

The works feature a dusty, rustic color scheme, painting an accurate picture of the theme in place and making the overall expression as authentic as possible.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

Born in 1995 in Lisbon, Portugal, Sandra Poulson is a visual artist who lives and works between London and Luanda. Poulson’s work covers the political, cultural and socio-economic landscape of Angola as a case study for examining the connection between history, oral tradition and global
political structures.

Focusing on her experience with local Luanda, and its history and knowledge to
investigate and discover how micro political moments reverberate into macro politics. In her creativity, she makes use of “inherited societal memory”, which encapsulates the shared memories of the many wrongs from Angola’s colonial era and the Angolan civil war to take apart contemporary narratives using semiotic and archaeological studies of common objects as figures in political and cultural ongoing transformations.

Between the 13th of May and the 30th of June 2022, Poulsen has begun with the ‘Economy of Dust’ exhibition. She developed these installations during her residency at V.O Curations in central London. The artwork in this exhibition is reflective of the artist’s personal experience of growing up in Luanda, Angola. The exhibition is displayed across two gallery spaces. the artist took the ever-present dust in the city, central to its geographic location, and put it in a gallery to reflect on Luanda’s economic, social and cultural landscape. The works are made in fabric, a material that bears importance in constructing the way our bodies navigate the world, with each element pattern cut and handsewn.

In the capital of Angola – Luanda, the dust is a stable and reliable resource, while at the same time many jobs and daily activities are focused on the effort to erase any traces of it. This brings about a duality of perspective that forms the narrative that Poulsen uses to ponder on how something so seemingly unwanted happens to be an essential part that shapes the local society. Structured around moments of meeting and intersecting, ‘Economy of the Dust’ references the elementary architectural language of Luanda which include objects, environments and circumstances that make up the structure of the city of Luanda.

The works feature a dusty, rustic color scheme, painting an accurate picture of the theme in place and making the overall expression as authentic as possible.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

by Monster Boys

Subaru Boys and The Power of Teamwork: A masterclass in creative collaboration.

For Osayaba Ize-Iyamu, better known by fans and peers as “Cruel Santino”, making the transition from the calmer brand of Afro and Alternative pop sounds of his 2019 LP – Mandy and The Jungle, to the more vibrant (for the most part), otherworldly and eclectic sounds of his latest LP, and the bedrock of his fictional sea world anime – SUBARU BOYS: final heaven could not have been a light task.

As he displayed on Mandy and The Jungle, the artist formerly known as just “Santi” and his team have a sharp eye for selecting his supporting cast. 2022’s SUBARU BOYS: final heaven, was an assemblage of old faces like Amaarae, and new ones like Jamaican reggae prodigy Koffee. 

The creative process for a project as immersive as SUBARU BOYS: final heaven, consists of many layers and contributions - some prominent, some behind the scenes.

Making use of 12 guest appearances and 11 producers (including himself), Cruel Santino managed to lay the auditory bricks for his thoroughly designed “Subaru World”.  The project was executively produced by the dynamic pairing of Grammy nominated Quddus King aka GMK and Demilade Akin-Alabi aka Genio Bambino. The duo, also going by the title – “Monster Boys” have admitted that producing, mixing and mastering songs on a heavily conceptual album like this was more fun to work on than challenging because Santino had created an atmosphere for all hands that were selected to be on deck understood the vision. GMK says that what Santi does is send a playlist to the team, so that they all understand the direction it is supposed to and it becomes really fun to do from there.

According to Genio, the collaborators helped make a clearer picture of the Subaru World. He believes that the album took its collaborators out of their respective comfort zones and the result was a sonic exploration that blends into itself quite seamlessly. The songs on the album were arranged into arcs, following the running theme of worldbuilding. Each song is designed to fit into an arc, and with a meticulously selected supporting cast, it makes for more than just a musical project.

As far as the collaborative soundscape of Nigerian and African music is concerned, the Monster Boy duo have very high hopes. GMK is impressed with the fact that more established acts are opting to seek out lesser known producers and acts and believes that the merging of sounds across borders has unlimited potential to take the culture even further. Genio believes that good collaborations would take the sound and the culture far, but the focus should lean toward creating quality sound rather than numbers and acclaim. He is quoted saying

“Money and numbers are important, but the sound comes first”.

The future of the art in Nigeria and Africa is brimming with potential and artists are beginning to realize the power of a well-planned collaborative effort.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu

Subaru Boys and The Power of Teamwork: A masterclass in creative collaboration.

For Osayaba Ize-Iyamu, better known by fans and peers as “Cruel Santino”, making the transition from the calmer brand of Afro and Alternative pop sounds of his 2019 LP – Mandy and The Jungle, to the more vibrant (for the most part), otherworldly and eclectic sounds of his latest LP, and the bedrock of his fictional sea world anime – SUBARU BOYS: final heaven could not have been a light task.

As he displayed on Mandy and The Jungle, the artist formerly known as just “Santi” and his team have a sharp eye for selecting his supporting cast. 2022’s SUBARU BOYS: final heaven, was an assemblage of old faces like Amaarae, and new ones like Jamaican reggae prodigy Koffee. 

The creative process for a project as immersive as SUBARU BOYS: final heaven, consists of many layers and contributions - some prominent, some behind the scenes.

Making use of 12 guest appearances and 11 producers (including himself), Cruel Santino managed to lay the auditory bricks for his thoroughly designed “Subaru World”.  The project was executively produced by the dynamic pairing of Grammy nominated Quddus King aka GMK and Demilade Akin-Alabi aka Genio Bambino. The duo, also going by the title – “Monster Boys” have admitted that producing, mixing and mastering songs on a heavily conceptual album like this was more fun to work on than challenging because Santino had created an atmosphere for all hands that were selected to be on deck understood the vision. GMK says that what Santi does is send a playlist to the team, so that they all understand the direction it is supposed to and it becomes really fun to do from there.

According to Genio, the collaborators helped make a clearer picture of the Subaru World. He believes that the album took its collaborators out of their respective comfort zones and the result was a sonic exploration that blends into itself quite seamlessly. The songs on the album were arranged into arcs, following the running theme of worldbuilding. Each song is designed to fit into an arc, and with a meticulously selected supporting cast, it makes for more than just a musical project.

As far as the collaborative soundscape of Nigerian and African music is concerned, the Monster Boy duo have very high hopes. GMK is impressed with the fact that more established acts are opting to seek out lesser known producers and acts and believes that the merging of sounds across borders has unlimited potential to take the culture even further. Genio believes that good collaborations would take the sound and the culture far, but the focus should lean toward creating quality sound rather than numbers and acclaim. He is quoted saying

“Money and numbers are important, but the sound comes first”.

The future of the art in Nigeria and Africa is brimming with potential and artists are beginning to realize the power of a well-planned collaborative effort.

Text by Jojolola Dopamu