No one left 2016 feeling hopeful for 2017. Trump was President elect, Brexit was oncoming, there was continuing violence in Eastern Ukraine, Chelsea had the league wrapped up by December, and George Michael was dead. It was a year that promised so much but left those of us without a trust fund feeling both cynical and insecure. In approaching 2017, the only way to make the year bearable was one had to affirm their values in social justice, stand tall, and be direct to not allow this overwhelming sense of horror leave us in despair.
For us as a magazine, we knew we had to make a change if our project was to have any meaning, thus we stopped being jerks, picked out projects we loved, and changed our name. The consequence has been overwhelmingly positive and we have had nothing but positive feedback and love. We feel a renewed sense of purpose and hope in our new format. We finally feel that we can be a vehicle for values we support: equality, justice and radicalism. For that, we thank everyone who has supported us.
With the new year upon us, we don’t believe we can afford to reflect too much but must look forward to another year ahead of us. In doing so, we want to voice our support for five projects that we really hope make 2018 a far superior year than this one. With love, we wish everyone a happy New Year and we’re excited to start up again in 2018.
Lasha Tsertsvadze Mapping Out The Georgian Body
Lasha Tsertsvadze is a photographer that belongs to no scene in Tbilisi. He has always operated on the periphery of both Tbilisi’s LGBT and art scene. Increasingly, he has started to use his own body as a source of inspiration. He uses it to map out the strength, fragility, desire and repression as a man that is confronted with the intersection of class, sexual and emotional alienation. His current untitled project, revolving around erotic photography, promises to be one of the most interesting projects to emerge out of Tbilisi’s new sense of sexual confidence.
Tillae Soundtracking Winter in Vilnius
Tillae is giving the concept of “Northern Soul” a whole new definition with their album, which just dropped at the start of December. Their album Late Night Grocery Shopping is the comfort for all those freezing Vilnius nights, where you walk home from the bars alone or with someone new as the snow flakes fall upon your nose. Styling themselves “Sentiment pop”, this is an album that will comfort your head and heart through the moments when summer begins to feel like a distant memory. Richly soulful vocals with equally stunning production, this album has an amazing capacity to make the listener feel awash with comfort and in the moment.
Yulia Kryval, Nazz Oliynyk, and Lviv Rave
Since Maidan, Kyiv has emerged as a favourite for hipsters across the world, with the city becoming famed for its raves. With all the positive attention focusing on Kyiv, what has escaped much of the media’s attention is that this particular scene isn’t only in Kyiv. Chronicling this scene are journalists/photographers Yulia Kryval and Nazz Oliynyk, who have been working together to tell the story of a grassroots techno scene with no corporate backing or western press support. Although nascent, it is another example of a post-Soviet generation cultivating a unique and dynamic scene; not in some attempt to replicate the past, but build towards the future. More importantly, this showcases that rave culture in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries does not simply exist for western journalists to fetishize while in Kyiv but is a direct political statement of an entire generation demanding a more just society.
Vera Belocrîs’s Instagram Account Oculos Capturing Chisinau
Chisinau is a city that feels like it never gets to tell its own story. Instead, it is always a story lost by the perception of Chisinau as a place of sadness, exodus and overall greyness. It is a story of a city that doesn’t involve the main character. Giving voice to Chisinau is Vera Belocrîs’s Instagram page Oculos, which is capturing Chisinau is all its mundane, short glories, uncertainty and beauty. A student of cinematography, Vera’s Instagram gives some more identity to this much maligned capital while adding a dose of joy to your daily feed.
Kinoproby Bringing Belarusian Charisma to Paris
Kinoproby is a young photo/video/music/style agency, originally from Minsk, but now based in Paris. Led by Olga Romashova, Kinoproby is open to any idea, concept, or collab. A peek at their Facebook page or Vimeo channel confirms this, which certainly leaves us excited. We love them for their fresh approach to styling, fashion and visuals in general, and they truly perfected the raw & sensual look. We can’t wait to hear more from them and are excited about their plans for 2018 – so give them some support and see if you too can be seduced by their fresh ideas.