As a person of colour, it is important (and satisfying) to find vindication for our experiences of racism in charged opinion pieces. But impassioned articles in our highly reactive digital media can sometimes be polarising — a contradiction, however rightful, to those who consider unity as an end goal. That’s why, increasingly, I find myself seeking solace and balance in magazines like Niijournal. The London-based publication explores issues to do with representation and empowerment within race, but with the aim to “educate, not irritate”.
Their second issue opens with an emphatic poem, written by founder Campbell Addy. He describes the subtle ways his skin colour affects the exchanges he has with people around him — racism as a form of attrition that leads to anxiety and “true loneliness” (mental health is one reoccurring theme in this issue). But instead of ignominious retribution, the poem and the rest of the magazine focuses on, to no lesser effect, the celebration of people of colour.
Addy’s distinctive camerawork and talent for artistic direction can be found throughout the magazine, where pages after pages of beautiful photography, along with intimate interviews and personal essays access a diverse spectrum of identities. The interview with musician Kelsey Lu is a good example — you can find out more and look inside the magazine with our video review below…
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