Amongst many progressive magazines, i-D is one that’s consistently changing narratives through aesthetic fashion inspired visuals. This time on a film lead by artist Mykki Blanco they came to Johannesburg South Africa, giving the local queer creatives a visually compelling documentary to narrate their city like never before.
Just 30 seconds into the 40 minutes long film you are invited into a love story of two young men. Bradley and Nkulsey, who met online and they shed light on their world and the struggles of being gay in Johannesburg. From their experiences, it is clear that they generally don’t feel accepted either home or in public. You can feel a sense of hope from the way they courageously and unapologetically live their lives beside the prejudice they experience.
It is clear that most queer people feel alienated and they continuously get victimised in the communities by reside. The beauty of visual storytelling is that it forces the audience to get a glimpse of what others go through. You can identify with aspects of someone who seems so different from yourself at first.
These featured creatives unapologetically tackle and address the issues that make society alienate them through experiences we all share. A good example of this was the sensational rising musical group Faka. Using the popular local music, Faka explores queer love and the prejudice they experience in such an iresistable way that even the most homophobic of people would be closet fans.
As you further allow yourself get lost in this creative direction by Matt Lambert, you’ll be amazed by the visionary creations by Rich Mnisi. This young designer is taking the fashion industry by storm with his refreshing take on African fashion. Rich is one those creatives that know how to use clothes to address traditional gender stereotypes that are tied with fashion.
With Rich’s designs you can construct your own identity instead of clothes defining it for you. A beautiful and interactive fashion shoot where Rich grew up, showed just how progressive his designs are in tackling gender stereotypes. Mykki Blanco is also part of this shoot playfully interacting with the children in the streets of Tshiawelo Township.
There was something authentic and surreal about bringing such blissful artistic direction to these streets rich with history. These were the same streets many died fighting apartheid. Today these born frees face a different prejudice in this democratic era. It’s almost as if many have forgotten what discrimination was in this country…it just took on another mask. However it is in these young queer creatives that we remember what true freedom is as a few decades ago they would have never been able to be themselves. Today still with what they endure they continue managing to find the courage to be themselves and that’s the definition of truly inspirational African creatives.
Here is the video to experience the many wonderful things that couldn’t be summed up yourselves. https://youtu.be/6AXWQT486_E