I’m selling some really limited edition prints on my website right now! Going to use the funds towards my trip to Johannesburg, South Africa in a month in a half!

Doing a panel with two of my favorites @sadiebarnette and @essenceh on Black Abstraction for #blackportraitures conference. I actually never thought I would ever get to go to the continent, so I’m having so many feelings. Mostly feeling grateful. I’m self taught in my visual art and music, so it feels especially important to get to present work in this type of setting. I’m also self employed, and the hustle is real, so I’m grateful to all the people in my life who support me 💜 because sometimes it can truly feel like we out here on our own #blackmoon

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Chinatown by elsa bleda


“We wanted to capture the essence of South African township culture in the 80s and 90s,” says South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman, recalling the brief for this shoot – the SS16 lookbook for emerging designer Rich Mnisi’s brand OATH studio. “The culture of androgyny was at its peak, supported largely by the need to ‘show up’ (out do each other).” So, to shoot the images, they headed to Mnisi’s grandmother’s house in Chiawelo, Soweto. When it came to casting the story, Moolman and Mnisi were keen to paint an accurate picture of youth culture in Johannesburg.

While Janet Otobo is a professional model, Wayne Swart is a student who they street cast on the way to the shoot. Aart Verrips is a photographer and, in fact, was Moolman’s assistant on the day. Incidentally it was Verrips’ first time in Soweto. “(It) was a new experience, especially being Afrikaans and gay,” he told us. “It was incredibly refreshing to go to the township and experiencing something totally different to what your perception had been.” As for Lucky Macheke – an accountant – he is Mnsis’s cousin and just happened to be hanging out in his grandmother’s house.

Desire Marea is one half of FAKA, an art duo who, as black queer artists, explore their complex identities through performance. “We teach complexities in a radical fight for our own humanity,” Marea says, explaining their raison d’être. In fact, Moolman and Mnisi also wanted to engage in identity politics in this shoot. “We felt that androgyny resonates with young people in South Africa now, where there is almost a celebration of LGBT communities as a movement to oppose cultural stereotypes and homophobia.

Written by Ted Stansfield for Dazed


Joburg gothic by elsa bleda