The latest issue of Sixteen Journal celebrates Hispanic culture through a multigenerational lens
From age-old traditions to emerging trends, seminal photographers to contemporary practitioners, the magazine offers a beautifully layered perspective.
- Daniel Milroy Maher
- 16 August 2023
Sixteen Journal, a biannual print magazine focused on creative photography, has released its ninth issue, looking at Hispanic culture and customs around the world. Part of Sixteen World, an artistic platform dedicated to photography, fashion, music and cinema, the Journal was the point of origin for all of the Sixteen team’s various endeavours, which have grown to include Sixteen Film Institute, a space celebrating a new generation of directors through screenings, and Sixteen Sound Vision, dedicated to emerging musical artists.
Volume 9 of the Journal brings together many of these interests and studies them through the lens of Hispanic culture, inspired by the heritage of the founder and editor-in-chief, Xavier Encinas. “I am half French, half Spanish, and my last name ‘Encinas’ means ‘Green Oak’ in Spanish,” explains Xavier. “Sixteen investigates themes that are closely related to the culture, background and dreams of our team, and this issue was particularly important to me as I always wanted to celebrate my roots and how Hispanic culture is influencing global culture.”
In this latest issue, a broad overview of the subject is created through smaller moments of insight, delving into aspects of the culture that have been captured by various photographers around the world. These include archival projects by iconic artists such as American photographer Joseph Rodriguez, whose featured series Spanish Harlem was shot in the 80s and explores New York’s oldest ‘barrio’ (Spanish-speaking neighbourhood), and Spanish photographer Cristina García Rodero, whose series Espana Oculta was shot between the 70s and 80s and documents rural Spain's unusual customs and religious rites.
The issue also features emerging and established contemporary practitioners such as Jack Davison, who was commissioned to photograph a live flamenco performance; Samuel Bradley, who travelled to the south of Spain to capture a new generation of flamenco musicians and dancers; and Sam Gregg who visited the town of San Juan del Rio in Mexico to document the strange tradition of competitive mourning, which is carried out by professional (known as ‘plañideras’) and non-professional mourners alike.
“We wanted to portray a multifaceted, transgenerational and global culture,” says Xavier of the team’s intention with this latest release. “Hispanic culture is deeply rooted in music and religion, and these were two very important topics to explore and portray. From the new generation of Flamenco artists to the Guatemalan divinities, and from the Reggaeton stars to the LA latino gangs, we tried to show a beautiful culture that has, in some respects, informed wider global trends.”
Crucially, through Sixteen’s diverse and layered approach, what can often feel too expansive to capture in a single issue, becomes intimate and accessible. Mixing commissioned fashion stories, commissioned documentary stories, contemporary documentary archives and seminal photography archives, the magazine offers a timeless perspective on the topic.
GallerySixteen Journal: Volume 9 (Copyright © Sixteen Journal, 2023)
Sixteen Journal: Volume 9. Front cover: Photography by Joseph Rodriguez (Copyright © Sixteen Journal, 2023)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.