Boy.Brother.Friend's fifth issue delves into themes of ‘rituals’ and ‘ceremony’
Speaking to junior editor Jojolola Dopamu, we catch up with the team behind one of our favourite art magazines of the last few years.
- Joey Levenson
- 2 February 2023
When we first covered the magazine Boy.Brother.Friend, we knew it was something special. That’s why we invited Kk Obi back to speak at a Nicer Tuesdays event to tell us more about the creative proccess of drawing together different artists to explore the intersection of diaspora and masculinities. Three years on, and it’s clear the magazine has gone from strength to strength – upping its game and style in spades. Recently, Kk and the team released their fifth issue of Boy.Brother.Friend which centres around the theme of ‘rituals’ and ‘ceremony’, specifically those which “govern contemporary diaspora creativity and existence,” Jojolola Dopamu, Boy.Brother.Friend’s junior editor, tells us. Containing a myriad of articles and interviews pertaining to fashion and art, as well as editorial shoots, poetry, and visual art, the fifth issue is a fascinating deep dive in to artistic habit and motivation.
“This issue takes us around the globe, showcasing the beauty of these places in a raw vividity that has become synonymous with Boy.Brother.Friend since its inception,” says Jojolola. With each issue carrying a theme that branches out into smaller, more minutiae sub-themes, Boy.Brother.Friend always seeks to unearth something new in its findings. “The magazine unpacks deep cultural, artistic and societal topics in an authentically raw fashion,” Jojolola adds. “Issue 5 ticks all the boxes of Boy.Brother.Friend style, while providing fresh perspectives and stories that examine ceremony as well as the culture of habit and ritual.”
On the theme ceremony, Jojolola draws us back to the foundational human aspect of ritual and tradition. “It can be easy to lose track of the more basic activities that we perform ceremoniously,” he explains. “What this issue attempts to do is to appreciate the beauty in all of this and, through our lenses of art, fashion and exhibition, investigate why ceremonies mean so much to us, what these ceremonies do for us, and why we organise and partake in ceremony.” From the Ye-Yee-Ye festival in Accra, Ghana, to an interview with Nigerian musical artist Obongjayar, to quotes from Stuart Hall’s Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain, there’s a lot to unpack and engage with inside the fifth issue. No page is left scarce, nor does any page leave you without something to think about – either critically or artistically.
“We hope that the audience can first of all appreciate the beauty within ceremonial undertakings in our lives and world over, and the general beauty of art and fashion in relation to the authentic issues and sub-themes contained in the issue,” Jojolola explains. “Secondly, we hope to see a brand new enthusiasm in investigating the psychology of why we do things, as well as why we do them in the various orders in which we do them.” The issue acutely presents a fascinating and thorough presentation of art, fashion, and everything in between, and breaks new ground in Boy.Brother.Friend’s move towards studying oneself as much as one celebrates and appreciates oneself.
Boy.Brother.Friend: In ‘I just want want to say my piece and leave it at the table’, our cover star, Obongjayar steps out in style wearing Bottega Veneta by Mathieu Blazy. This outfitting set the tone for an eye-opening interview with the burgeoning British-Nigerian musical prodigy (Copyright © Boy.Brother.Friend, 2023)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. He was part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.