Posts tagged with culture
#1 Must Have: A Blog to Celebrate Queer Culture
When A. Slaven was growing up in rural Ohio, she didn’t identify as anything but a weirdo. “There was so little context for being a queer person in the place where I’m from,” she says. “I didn’t even think about it. I just always felt very different.” It was only when she left the sticks for college in a nearby city — and developed her first reciprocated girlcrush — that she realized there was a name for the way she felt: Queer. Suddenly life was less lonely.
Now 33 and living in Seattle, Slaven is a librarian by day and club promoter by night. Along with her creative partner, lawyer/photographer Adrien Leavitt, she’s the brains behind #1 Must Have — a blog (named for the Sleater-Kinney song) and photozine documenting queer culture. For the last year, the two friends have been posting color portraits of the Seattle queer community — sans captions. The point is to show how queer people of all ages live. We caught up with Slaven as she prepared for the project’s New York gallery debut, at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
Why start a zine about queer culture?
Part of why we started doing it is that the It Gets Better Project got so popular. We don’t think that you should just suck it up in high school and wait. We wanted to represent taking charge, empowering yourself, not just waiting it out and hoping that some day we can adopt a kid and shop at Whole Foods.
Meet Angel Haze: Rapper Tackling Sex Abuse in Her Rhymes
Raykeea Wilson is gesturing in a windowless, green-walled conference room in Midtown Manhattan, cutting arcs with her hands as she describes her onstage persona. "She’s the person I don’t have the guts to be," says the Brooklyn rap newcomer, whose friends call her Raeen. “She is the person I feel I was born to be and in some way will come into in life.”
She’s talking about Angel Haze, the never-gave-a-fuck force she werewolfs into when she rhymes on stage — with a kind of spitfire that inked the 21-year-old a record deal with Universal Republic just weeks after the release of her first mixtape, Reservation. There’s a lot of momentum for the Detroit-born Wilson at the moment: Pitchfork loved her mixtape; Fader compared her to Biggie; she was even featured in the New York Times. But perhaps most significantly, she’s sparked the most in-depth conversation in hip hop since Frank Ocean came out — with the release of “Cleaning Out My Closet,” a jarring account of childhood sexual abuse.
Whiting Out Your Favorite Brands
By day, Andrew Miller is a branding strategist at a New York design agency — working to figure out how to create memorable branding around perhaps not-so-memorable products. But by night, the former designer is stripping away that visual branding by covering it with white Krylon spray paint — to see which of our favorite products are still recognizable in their purest form. From a red Twizzler rope to an old Macintosh computer, the result is Brand Spirit — a blog of 100 ghost-like objects, photographed with an old 1970s camera, over 100 days.
Tell us how Brand Spirit came to be.
It started as a school project at SVA, where I was studying brand strategy. One of the things we talked about a lot in class was how, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, they banned all outdoor advertising, aiming to reduce visual pollution. Not surprisingly, businesses were very worried. But with the ban still in effect, the city is thriving — a recent survey even found that most residents find the ban beneficial. So, I wanted to ask, what happens when you start to imagine a world without brands?