In conversation with .. 8!

Welcome to our new digital issue: IN CONVERSATION WITH – Part 8! Featuring with Aka Kelzz, Jaume Miró, José Rojas, Wooly and the Uke, Ford Kelly, Olli Hull. Special thanks to Orientation NYC. 118 pages filled with interviews and editorials. Contributors are Lewis Robert Cameron, Johannes Brauner, Arabella Romen, Rianon Vran, Joseph Sy, Arron Dunworth, Alis, McGuire Brown and more. Enjoy our new issue! Feat. @akakelzzmusic @akakelzz @jaumevmiro @jose_illustration @woolyandtheuke @SoyFordKelly @ollihull On the cover Creative Direction & Styling McGuire Brown @mcguire.brown 
Photographer & Editor Abby Lorenzini @abilorenzini 
Lighting Assistance Joe DaJour @joedajour 
Assistance Jane Handorff @jhandorff & Samantha Del Rosal @samanthadelrosal
Model Kayinoluwa Ibidapo @kayinoluwa 
Makeup Tania Mallah @tatimallah 
Production Orientation NYC @orientationyc

Welcome to our new digital issue: IN CONVERSATION WITH – Part 8! Featuring with Aka Kelzz, Jaume Miró, José Rojas, Wooly and the Uke, Ford Kelly, Olli Hull. Special thanks to Orientation NYC. 118 pages filled with interviews and editorials. Contributors are Lewis Robert Cameron, Johannes Brauner, Arabella Romen, Rianon Vran, Joseph Sy, Arron Dunworth, Alis, McGuire Brown and more. Enjoy our new issue!
Feat. @akakelzzmusic @akakelzz @jaumevmiro @jose_illustration
@woolyandtheuke @SoyFordKelly @ollihull

On the cover

Creative Direction & Styling McGuire Brown @mcguire.brown 
Photographer & Editor Abby Lorenzini @abilorenzini 
Lighting Assistance Joe DaJour @joedajour 
Assistance Jane Handorff @jhandorff & Samantha Del Rosal @samanthadelrosal
Model Kayinoluwa Ibidapo @kayinoluwa 
Makeup Tania Mallah @tatimallah 
Production Orientation NYC @orientationyc


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Aka Kelzz<br />

Jaume Miró<br />

José Rojas<br />

Olli Hull<br />

Wooly and the Uke<br />

Ford Kelly

“I dare to dream of a world where people<br />

can dress, speak, and behave how<br />

they want, free from mockery, derision,<br />

judgment, harassment, and danger.<br />

This is what I want. Who’s <strong>with</strong> me?”<br />

Meet The Team<br />

Editor-in-Chief<br />

Fashion Editor<br />

Marcel Schlutt @marcel_schlutt mschlutt@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Juno Dawson<br />

Art Director<br />

Art Editor<br />

Music Editors<br />

Fashion Editors<br />

Naikee Simoneau @naikee_simoneau nsimoneau@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Nicola Phillips @nicphilf nphillips@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Johanna Urbancik @Johannaurbancik JohannaUrbancik@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Nico Sutor @nico_sutor_ nsutor@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Karl Slater @slatekarl kslater@kaltblut-magazine.com<br />

Contributors<br />

Lewis Robert Cameron, Johannes Brauner, Arabella Romen, Rianon Vran, Joseph Sy, Arron Dunworth, Alis, McGuire Brown<br />

On The Cover<br />

Kayinoluwa Ibidapo photographed by Abby Lorenzini<br />

Hat - Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme<br />

Dress - Prada<br />

Bolero - Raf Simmons<br />

4<br />

Full story > p.38<br />

All Copyright at KALTBLUT www.kaltblut-magazine.com @kaltblut_magazine<br />


All of KALTBLUT´s contributors are responsible and retain the reproduction rights of their own words and images.<br />

Reproductions of any kind are prohibited <strong>with</strong>out the permission of the magazine, editor and each contributor.

Aka Kelzz > p.6 Normalization > p.16<br />

Jaume Miró > p.28 José Rojas > p.48<br />

Red Pill > p.60 Ford Kelly > p.102<br />


Finding strength<br />

in accepting your<br />

struggles<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>conversation</strong><br />

<strong>with</strong> Aka Kelzz<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview Johanna Urbancik @johannaurbancik<br />

Photography Joanna Legid @joannalegid<br />


Berlin-based musician Aka Kelzz has a<br />

presence, unlike many others. Their soft,<br />

soulful voice paired <strong>with</strong> meaningful<br />

lyrics resembles a warm blanket and a<br />

hot cup of tea on a winter’s night. With<br />

thought-provoking personal lyrics, Kelly<br />

wants to share their experiences and<br />

allow the listener to feel that life doesn’t<br />

always have to be positive and perfect.<br />

Their music has seemingly appeared out<br />

of nowhere last year <strong>with</strong> Kelly having<br />

taught themselves how to produce and<br />

distribute music. We can consider<br />

ourselves incredibly lucky, as Kelly’s music<br />

is something that’s desperately needed in<br />

our day and age: They’re different, daring<br />

and are challenging our views on mental<br />

health in a way that’s both genuine and<br />

supportive.<br />

KALTBLUT caught up <strong>with</strong> Kelly to<br />

discuss their musical background, their<br />

role as an educator and the stigma of the<br />

“strong black woman” narrative they want<br />

to break<br />

You moved to Berlin four years ago, why<br />

did you leave Birmingham?<br />

I came here for a holiday in 2016 on my<br />

own. I made a bunch of friends. When I<br />

went back to the UK, I called my friend,<br />

and I told her I’m in bed at home, and<br />

she said that if you’re going to work a<br />

shitty job in Birmingham, you can also<br />

work a shitty job in Berlin. So, I moved<br />

two months later. I didn’t have much<br />

going on in the UK, I was just working,<br />

hanging out <strong>with</strong> my friends, I wanted<br />

more, something different. I came here<br />

<strong>with</strong> no real plan, just to work and see<br />

what happens. I haven’t lived in another<br />

country long-term before, so Berlin just<br />

made sense. It’s so different from the<br />

rest of Germany, which I didn’t know at<br />

the time.<br />


Were you already pursuing music in England, or is that something you started in<br />

Berlin?<br />

I’ve been singing since I was a kid. My whole family is really musical, my dad used to<br />

be a DJ and singer, my mum could sing, my dad and my sister could sing, and there<br />

was also me. From a young age, I was really into music. I tried to be in a band in the<br />

UK, but it didn’t work out, so I gave up. <strong>In</strong> school, my teachers said to me that I wasn’t<br />

a good singer, which put my confidence down. I didn’t listen, but it’s still in the back<br />

of my mind even now, and I’m questioning if I’m doing the right thing.<br />

Then I moved to Berlin, I settled and from 2018 to 2019, I kept trying loads of bands,<br />

but it didn’t work out. We had a couple of shows or rehearsals, but we never clicked.<br />

Then during the pandemic, at the beginning of March last year, I said to myself that<br />

I’m going to try and learn to produce my own music.<br />

I always thought about making music, but because I don’t play any instruments, I<br />

always had to rely on other people to make something for me. Then I tried it myself<br />

and started using this music production website called BandLab. It’s really easy, and<br />

I just started playing around <strong>with</strong> it and created some tracks. It pretty much started<br />

there, I’m still not an amazing producer, but I’m a much better singer-songwriter<br />

now.<br />

From that, I started playing <strong>with</strong> Bandlab, which then created my first two singles<br />

“Take Me Back” and “Fucks Us Up!”. I’ve been doing that for most of the year, and then<br />

in October 2020, I found a producer. His name’s Rafael Prado, and he is a student<br />

at SAE. He told me that they were looking for people to record, and then they’d give<br />

them two mixed and mastered songs. So, I did that. When I was in the studio, they<br />

said that I have to release this music. I was a bit unsure, but Rafael and Vitor both said<br />

that I needed to put this music out there. So I said, why not? From that, I got a huge<br />

boost, and I thought, maybe I should do it. Rafael and I became really good friends,<br />

and now he’s my producer. We’ve released four songs together now, and we’ve got<br />

plenty more to come.<br />

That’s really cool! I have two questions now. Berlin is all about electronic music.<br />

Did you find it harder to pursue a non-electronic genre, such as R&B, here? And<br />

the second question is about your songs, when Rafael told you to release your<br />

music, did you self-release them?<br />

I wouldn’t say it’s harder, but I didn’t know many artists that were doing Pop, R&B,<br />

Soul. I didn’t know that many at the time when I first started. I wouldn’t say it’s<br />

difficult, but obviously, Berlin is known for Techno, so you have to find the right<br />

events, the right people to follow on social media and connect and the people who<br />

are making different music to Techno. From my experience, it took some time to<br />

find all the artists making music somewhat similar to mine, or different to Techno.<br />

If I wanted to, I could easily try and produce Techno music, but then it’s the same as<br />

everybody else.<br />

And to answer your second question; everything I released was self-released. I use<br />

distrokid, and everything that I’ve done in the last year I just learned as I went along. I<br />

didn’t know how to release music, I didn’t know how you’d get onto Spotify, and then I<br />

was researching all about distribution, and I thought shit, there’s so much stuff I need<br />

to know about! Then figuring out how to get people to listen to my music, and it’s all<br />

just so complicated. I just wanted to put my music out there and have people listen to<br />

it. There are so many layers to it because, for one, I am a fat dark skin femme. There’s<br />

already that barrier.<br />

It turns music into a real business.<br />

100%! That’s what I’m trying to say. The way that I look and the way that I sound is<br />

very different in Berlin. I don’t know many people that look like me that are doing<br />

music. There’s that part which is really cool, it’s a slight niche almost. Releasing<br />

music or gathering the information to learn how to release music is something you<br />

have to try to figure out as you go along. I’m still doing it. I’m hoping that people<br />

listen to my music, and it gets shared. Let’s see how it goes because not many people<br />

know me now. This is the perfect time to figure out how to do all this music stuff.<br />


“I don’t want to change for<br />

anyone. I’ve worked too hard to<br />

battle <strong>with</strong> my demons to get<br />

where I am now in such short<br />

space of time.”<br />


Exactly. I think it’s always a learning<br />

procedure. For so many artists, labels<br />

make life a lot easier because they’ll take<br />

care of the admin stuff, but I think when<br />

you’re self-releasing music, you have so<br />

many more opportunities to do what you<br />

want to do and have no one above you. It<br />

sounds as if self-releasing makes hard<br />

work a bit more paid off.<br />

For sure. The one thing I really love about<br />

self-releasing is the fact that it’s my music<br />

and I’m working <strong>with</strong> other people that<br />

understand and respect my vision and<br />

ideas. A huge part of my music is sharing<br />

my experiences in a very honest way.<br />

My first release “Take Me Back” is about<br />

summer and being in love, it’s a happy<br />

song.<br />

Then “Fucks Us Up!”, which is like an<br />

anthem to me. It was a turning point for<br />

me because when I wrote it, it was about<br />

the pandemic at first, but when I went<br />

to the studio, it turned into some sort of<br />

anthem for me where I’m not taking any<br />

shit anymore, I’m doing what’s best for me.<br />

Every time I sing this song, it gives me so<br />

much energy.<br />

Then “purple” is about my love for<br />

my friends. I want to maintain this<br />

transparency, this honesty that people<br />

are drawn to when they see me perform<br />

and when they see things that I post on<br />

social media. I like the fact that I can have<br />

lots of freedom at the moment. It’s also<br />

about finding the people to work <strong>with</strong><br />

that wouldn’t try to change me. That’s<br />

something I would not be doing. I don’t<br />

want to change for anyone. I’ve worked too<br />

hard to battle <strong>with</strong> my demons to get where<br />

I am now in such a short space of time. It’s<br />

been a year since I started recording and<br />

releasing. It all happened pretty quickly.<br />

Quote: “After shows, people come up to me<br />

and tell me that this was so good and they<br />

felt every word that I was saying. It makes<br />

my heart so full, to know that they listen<br />

to and enjoy my music and that they can<br />

understand what I’m saying.”<br />


Your lyrics are very personal, <strong>with</strong> some being about<br />

your mental health struggles. Did you always want to<br />

use your music as a medium to give advice about such<br />

personal things, or do you feel that you have a duty to<br />

give people listen to something that they identify <strong>with</strong><br />

and understand?<br />

Yeah, it’s a bit of both. When I write, I write about what<br />

I’m feeling. I write down my thoughts, I’ll come back<br />

to the words, and then I’ll pick out how I’m feeling that<br />

day and then write a song that way. It’s a combination of<br />

both. I can’t sit down and write a whole song in one go, I<br />

need time to slowly reflect and come back to it.<br />

I want to be a person that looks different, and sounds<br />

not how you think I’m going to sound when you first<br />

see me. I have this feeling when people see me they<br />

think I’m going to have this really loud powerful voice,<br />

which I do somewhat, but not really. My voice is really<br />

soulful, but I feel it’s different when you hear the words,<br />

something clicks. It’s something you’re not expecting<br />

when you hear the words.<br />

When I’m performing, I talk about the songs. I enjoy the<br />

fact that I’m sharing about my mental health because<br />

for so long, I never did <strong>with</strong> anybody. With music, I can<br />

just sing the words and hear people say “Oh, I feel very<br />

similar”, or “I’ve had these feelings as well”. It makes<br />

me feel that this is something I should be sharing,<br />

especially <strong>with</strong> black and brown queer people.<br />

This is my experience and I want to be relatable. People<br />

feel the words I’m saying and that’s the most important<br />

thing to me, to be honest. After shows, people come up<br />

to me and tell me that this was so good and they felt<br />

every word that I was saying. It makes my heart so full,<br />

to know that they listen to and enjoy my music and that<br />

they can understand what I’m saying.<br />

It’s almost a little bit like a personal therapy session<br />

that everyone has while listening to your music.<br />

Another thing that you’ve already briefly touched on,<br />

I’ve read that you want to kind of break the strong<br />

black woman narrative, can you tell me a little bit<br />

about that?<br />

I identify as non-binary. I’m a non-binary person,<br />

which has been a recent “thing”. For so long in my life,<br />

when people read me, they read me as a CIS black<br />

woman. I never had the opportunity to think of myself<br />

outside of that, because of everything that goes on in<br />

the world, especially when it comes to black women.<br />

I want to be vulnerable. I want people to see that I’m<br />

not strong. I don’t want that word attached to me. I<br />

want people to see me as something else, rather than<br />

a strong black person that can take on the shit. No, I<br />

cry a lot. I get depressed a lot. This is something that I<br />

want people to see. That’s something I put across very<br />

well, my struggles, different ways of learning. If I was<br />

in love and friendships, relationships, relationship <strong>with</strong><br />

myself, which is important because I didn’t know a lot<br />

about myself really. I didn’t question a lot of things.<br />

Also, politically, I didn’t question a lot of things and I’m<br />

undoing the work now.<br />


12<br />

“I like to share, but<br />

also I want other<br />

people to see me and<br />

understand that I’m an<br />

open book and letting<br />

you into this vulnerable<br />

side. I want to take<br />

people on a journey<br />

whenever I perform.<br />

I want them to see<br />

the bad side and<br />

that it’s okay<br />

to have fun.”

Picture by @annd_____<br />



Do you sometimes get sick of having to be an educator in<br />

that sense?<br />

It’s tiring, for sure. Because me being in a space is already<br />

enough. Only when I’m in spaces <strong>with</strong> black and brown people<br />

do I feel more relaxed. I don’t have to do the work. When I’m in<br />

a space <strong>with</strong> white people, I have to talk a lot more. Normally,<br />

my music says everything and other black and brown people<br />

will understand it. They’ve been through similar things. I think<br />

when it comes to education, it’s mainly for white people. That’s<br />

when the <strong>conversation</strong> normally where I have to talk about and<br />

explain how you deal <strong>with</strong> depression comes up.<br />

It’s very unreflective because mental health struggles affect<br />

everyone no matter what skin colour or background you<br />

have.<br />

It’s a constant thing for me because I started therapy again,<br />

which has been a great thing, and I’m a huge advocate for<br />

doing things that make you feel good. Find your support<br />

system and if you have access to therapy, go! <strong>In</strong> Germany, it’s<br />

very difficult to access certain things, specifically therapy. I<br />

love to talk about black and brown people because these are<br />

people that can understand the things I’ve been through.<br />

I like to share, but also I want other people to see me and<br />

understand that I’m an open book and letting you into this<br />

vulnerable side. I want to take people on a journey whenever I<br />

perform. I want them to see the bad side and that it’s okay to<br />

have fun. It’s not just this positive music, it is a real journey I<br />

want to take people on to show them that being on this stage<br />

took a lot of work. Writing this song took a lot of work for<br />

people to enjoy.<br />

I really like that! Do you have any music coming up soon?<br />

I have a bunch of releases that are coming out. We’re still<br />

deciding on the order in which they are going to come out.<br />

But, I have two songs coming out this year. One is called<br />

“Blank Space”, which is about mental health and the other<br />

one is “Timestamp”. “Timestamp” is me talking about my<br />

experience of people trying to make me feel small and put<br />

me in a box. My EP will be coming out next year and that is<br />

something I am super excited about!<br />

Follow Aka Kelzz @akakelzzmusic<br />

@akakelzz<br />


Normalization<br />

Photography Joseph Sy @josephest<br />

Styling & Art direction Yujin Lee @yujinfcs<br />

Hair Kiara Scorzelli @kiarascorzelli<br />

Models Krisna Agraan @hxntxx Naji Basma @najibasma Alice Jauncey @alicejauncey<br />

Two piece - Gerry Weber<br />

Black hat - stylist’s own<br />

Earrings - Ece<br />

Rings - Moulting Press<br />

Boots - Dunlop<br />

Two piece - Elvi<br />

Green hat - Kangol<br />

Shoes - Sacha<br />

Rings - Moulting Press<br />


Hoodie & Dress - Asos<br />

Boots - Dunlop<br />


18<br />

Two pieces - Avavav<br />

Shoes - Twins Design Studio

Furry Hat - M&S<br />

Earrings - Arkadiuszwieton<br />

Black top - Meiyu Song<br />

White Hat & Top - Alina Ispas<br />


Blue two piece - Meiyu Song<br />

Bag - Valentino<br />

Umbrella hat - OMUKY<br />

Shoes - Meiyu Song<br />


Brown two piece - Viyella<br />

Dress and Ivory long socks - Alina Ispas<br />

Shoes - Hush Puppies<br />

Red body suit - Alina Ispas<br />

Leg warmer - Alina Ispas<br />

White heels - stylist’s own<br />


Photography Arron Dunworth @arron.dunworth<br />

Model Misty @mistythebrandofficial<br />

Make up Tamara Tott @tamaratott_makeup using Illamasqua<br />

22Misty<br />

Hair Ross Kwan using Bumble & Bumble @rosskwan






28<br />

Editorial<br />

All outfits - Jaume Miró<br />

Shoes - Yeezy

One To Watch:<br />

Jaume Miró<br />

Photography Alis @alisbyalisofficial<br />

Stylist & all fashion Jaume Miró @jaumevmiro<br />

Models Martí Many signed at Uno Models @martimany_<br />

Aleks Zaharenkov signed at Blow Models @ginger.aleks<br />

Make up Aitana Wallace @aitanawallace<br />

Hair Joan Callau @joancallau<br />

Styling assistants Carles Lopez and Aitorito @carleslopezz @aitor.rito<br />

<strong>In</strong>troducing Barcelona<br />

based fashion designer<br />

Jaume Miró presenting<br />

his latest collection:<br />


„I have always doubted that life is<br />

something totally real: too good to be<br />

true and too cruel to be finite.<br />

With this philosophy in mind from<br />

an early age and having television,<br />

tamagotchi and VHS’s as best friends;<br />

The concept of constantly comparing<br />

my life and what happens in it <strong>with</strong><br />

fictional films and characters or<br />

believing that everything is a virtual<br />

reality does not seem crazy to me.<br />

Something similar to the “Truman<br />

Show” but <strong>with</strong>out an attentive audience<br />

behind the screen or a dreamlike being<br />

writing my destiny and determining my<br />

good or bad karma.<br />

This is the concept that ``PROMETEO<br />

‘’ wants to show: a collection of<br />

conceptual and avant-garde fashion<br />

in which I compare post-traumatic<br />

stress and Eating Disorders <strong>with</strong> retrofuturistic<br />

aesthetics and science fiction,<br />

mixing elements such as the tailoring<br />

and shirting <strong>with</strong> sportswear and<br />

street-style to mix the idea of finding<br />

comfort in discomfort and explore<br />

through volumes the canons of current<br />

beauty and the antithesis of these and<br />

not set limits between what is real or<br />

unreal.“<br />










The Facets<br />

Of A Personality<br />

Creative Direction & Styling<br />

McGuire Brown @mcguire.brown<br />

Photographer & Editor Abby Lorenzini @abilorenzini<br />

Lighting Assistance Joe DaJour @joedajour<br />

Assistance Jane Handorff @jhandorff & Samantha Del<br />

Rosal @samanthadelrosal<br />

Model Kayinoluwa Ibidapo @kayinoluwa<br />

Makeup Tania Mallah @tatimallah<br />

Production Orientation NYC @orientationyc<br />

Hat - Yohji Yamamoto<br />

Pour Homme<br />

Dress - Prada<br />

Bolero - Raf Simmons<br />

Jacket - Balenciaga<br />


Dress - Paco Rabanne<br />

Hat -CDG Homme Plus<br />

Jacket -Maison Margiela<br />

Shoes - Givenchy<br />

Undergarments - Skims<br />


40<br />

Ruffled Dress - Alexander McQueen

Dress - Jean Paul Gaultier<br />

Harness -Comme Des Garçons<br />



Hat - Yohji Yamamoto PourHomme<br />

Dress - Prada<br />

Bolero - Raf Simmons<br />



Hat - Yohji Yamamoto PourHomme<br />

Dress - Prada<br />

Bolero - Raf Simmons<br />

Jacket - Balenciaga<br />



Hat - Yohji Yamamoto PourHomme<br />

Dress - Prada<br />

Bolero - Raf Simmons<br />



Queers,<br />

Sex & Lolz<br />

<strong>In</strong>troducing<br />

José Rojas<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview Naikee Simoneau @naikee_simoneau<br />



As an interdisciplinary artist José Rojas has been working in the intersection of storytelling,<br />

photography, video, music and design; but the one thing that has always been there since he was a<br />

kid is illustration. From an early age Rojas’s had an urge to release all that happens in his head, and<br />

drawing was always the medium that felt most natural. Over the years it has become a way for him to<br />

communicate ideas and to enrich other creative processes he works on. José especially enjoy it when<br />

drawing serves as a meditative act.<br />

What medium/tools do you feel most comfortable <strong>with</strong> when creating your work?<br />

The iPad has turned out to be the tool I use the most. Even though it will never replace the<br />

experience of holding a brush, having paint under your nails or smelling the materials, I am thrilled<br />

<strong>with</strong> the endless possibilities technology offers <strong>with</strong>in so little space. <strong>In</strong> a time when art and design<br />

are shifting more and more to a digital space, using the iPad feels more native. Some may be sceptic<br />

about this change. For me, it means that I can combine a lot of techniques and mediums despite<br />

lacking the space at home or a studio. <strong>In</strong>stead I can work anywhere — from the comfort of my desk,<br />

the subway or even in bed (most of the times haha). This tool has allowed me to broaden my set of<br />

visual languages in a very short time and in ways that otherwise would not have been possible.<br />





Your illustrations are so exquisite and very unique, what are your inspirations?<br />

My approach is to combine the world of fine art <strong>with</strong> the world of pop culture and spice<br />

it up <strong>with</strong> queerness, sexiness and humor. My use of color and choice of shapes and<br />

composition come from the interest I developed in art history during high school, and<br />

are especially inspired by modern art.<br />

I present my characters in quite a staged and theatrical way. For this I draw a lot of<br />

influence from film and fashion photography, such as the work of Pedro Almodovar,<br />

Wes Andersson, Tim Burton, Nadia Lee Cohen and Tim Walker. There is something so<br />

magical about the way all these artists master the craft of portrayal.<br />

The shows and cartoons I watched as a kid, as well as the depiction of pop culture<br />

in media are a great inspiration, too. Especially queer icons, bold colors and lots of<br />

hairspray and drama. Humor is a key ingredient in my creative work. I believe that<br />

adding irony and quirkiness to my illustrations helps them feel more real, relatable, and<br />

accessible.<br />

Last, but not least, I put a lot of myself in my work as a way of portraying my various<br />

inner personalities in each illustration, resulting in pseudo self-portraits quite often.<br />

Your work is very stylish. How does fashion influence you?<br />

My grandmother was a very elegant and stylish person. I remember thinking as a kid<br />

there wasn’t anyone more fashionable than my grandma. I always wanted to believe I<br />

inherited some of that and loved to dress up, put make-up on and create characters.<br />

But it wasn’t until I came out that I dared to dive deeper into the world of fashion. My<br />

relationship <strong>with</strong> fashion as an artist surged as a result of observation and from the need<br />

to create relatable and convincing characters. It’s this part of every project that I love<br />

the most, whether I’m working on a music video, a short film, or on my next painting.<br />

Clothes, hair and make-up allow me to bring to life the characters I have in mind.<br />

Fashion opens a new dimension in any story. It literally adds layers to each character to<br />

the point where a simple portrait or an illustration can tell a multidimensional story.<br />

Your illustrations refer to politics, gender, race… do you think that as an artist it’s<br />

your duty to be engaged?<br />

Yes, but first as a person and citizen and then as an artists. If I’m engaged in these topics<br />

in my personal life, that naturally impacts both the content and the process of my work.<br />

The issues that concern me become my narrative. But of course the answer is yes. As an<br />

artist, I know that I hold the know-how of visual storytelling.<br />

A way of communication that in this digital era and and in the world of social media has<br />

proven to be very powerful. I believe in the urgency of shifting narratives, unlearning old<br />

recurring patterns and values and creating new visions and prospects of a life <strong>with</strong>out<br />

oppression, discrimination and toxic behaviors. As an artist and storyteller it’s important<br />

to understand the potential for the viewer to identify <strong>with</strong> known and recurring<br />

narratives, but especially to create new ones which are more inclusive, intersectional<br />

and that depict a vision of the world we want to live in.<br />

What is the message you want to get across to viewers of your work?<br />

My illustrations aim to be snapshots of many queer fantasies—from vanilla to kinky.<br />

I want to make people feel warm and jolly, make them laugh, feel nostalgic, dreamy<br />

or naughty. I want to invite the viewer to reflect on their own identity or just have fun<br />

exploring the beauty and intensity of queer fantasies and queer characters.<br />

You’re from Mexico but based in Berlin, Germany. How does both countries influence<br />

your work?<br />

Before moving to Berlin I didn’t know I was gay. I was a 22-year-old guy who moved to<br />

Berlin thinking he was moving to the first world, leaving worse opportunities behind,<br />

despite the immense privilege I enjoyed there. Being in Berlin hit the reset button.<br />

Today I don’t recognize that person anymore. Not only did I get in touch <strong>with</strong> myself and<br />

my queerness. Being here also allowed me to have a new perspective on my Mexican<br />

heritage, a part of my identity I had blocked for years. I could recognize classist, racist<br />

and homophobic behaviors that had been part of my upbringing in Mexican society and<br />

started a process of unlearning and healing.<br />





I believe that all these learning experiences have impacted my work tremendously. Now I see and allow<br />

the influence of Mexican folklore in my work and love how it works <strong>with</strong>in queer narratives. Something I<br />

wasn’t able to experience in Mexico, and I wish I had.<br />

What other work/artist do you find really inspiring right now?<br />

This is a hard question since there are so many incredible artists and activists out there and the amount<br />

of inspiring work is almost overwhelming.<br />

I find the work of the Berlin scene extremely touching. The storytelling of Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, the<br />

wise words of Emilia Roig, the fierceness of the Berlin drag queens, the bright colors of Navot Miller’s<br />

paintings, the magic in the photographic series Nachtzimmer of my friends Bela Lehrnickel and Dennis<br />

Ruf. Lastly, the bold aesthetic in the work of my sister Andrea Rojas, <strong>with</strong> whom I have the privilege of<br />

collaborating regularly.<br />

What is your ultimate goal?<br />

Looking at the world we live in, I sometimes feel like my art is a waste of time and get the urge to invest<br />

my privilege and resources into something more radical <strong>with</strong> a more direct and stronger impact.<br />

But then I remind myself that there is this huge potential to achieve change through art, design and<br />

storytelling. Especially if we work together and see ourselves as part of a bigger picture.<br />

I’m invested in reaching a point where I feel that I am making a difference <strong>with</strong> my work while at the<br />

same time enjoying the creative process and fulfilling my artistic needs.<br />

I’ve been working a lot on finding ways to speak up and become a more political person. I’m looking<br />

forward to putting myself out there more and draw attention to the causes I fight for through my art.<br />

My goal is to collaborate <strong>with</strong> more people who also seek the change and could use some visual<br />

storytelling in their own cause.<br />

Follow José Rojas @jose_illustration<br />

joserojasstudio.com<br />


Red Pill<br />

Photography + Art Direction Karl Slater @slaterkarl<br />

Styling Lewis Robert Cameron @lrcfashionstylist<br />

MUA Martina Derosa using M.A.C Cosmetics @martinaderosa_mua<br />

Hair Marco Coluccio using Schwarzkopf Got2big<br />

Model Jacob Lyttle at PRM @jacob.lyttle @prm_agency<br />

Choker - H.O.N<br />

Top & Trousers - FCLX<br />

Boots - Acne Studios<br />


Shirt Dress - ELZINGA<br />


Earring - HUANZHI<br />

Suit - Alvaro Mars<br />

Gloves - Honour<br />

Boots - Acne Studios<br />


Shirt Dress - ELZINGA<br />

Trousers - Fiorucci<br />


Earring - Raf Simons<br />

Top - House of Holland by Henry Holland<br />

Belt - Maharishi<br />

Trousers - Karl Lagerfeld<br />


Suit Jacket - Matilda Aberg<br />

Harness belt - B Dodi<br />


66<br />

Earring - Raf Simons<br />

Top - House of Holland by Henry Holland<br />

Belt - Maharishi<br />

Trousers - Karl Lagerfeld

Choker - H.O.N<br />

Top & Trousers - FCLX<br />

Boots - Acne Studios<br />


BIRTH OF<br />

Creative Direction, Design<br />

Arabella Romen @arabellaromen<br />

Photography and Postproduction<br />

Rianon Vran @rianonvran<br />

Videography and Video Direction<br />

Toto Stoffels @miss_toto_rodgers<br />

Sound Design Anton Filatov @antoonfilatov<br />

Styling Assistant, Hair and Make-Up<br />

Nadine Sahm @nads.studio<br />

Model is Kat Grube<br />

signed at Vivamodels @katjagru_<br />

via @vivamodelsberlin<br />

3D Design Hany Braisch and<br />

Hatice Keya @______hany @keyaha_<br />

Red Flower Textile Print Collaboration<br />

3D Design 11v151131_m06<br />

@11v151131_m06<br />

Sculptural Artwork Base <strong>with</strong><br />

Stefanie Grau &<br />

Arabella Romen<br />

@arabellaromen<br />

@stefanie_grau<br />

Jewellery Lacuna<br />

by Annabelle Baldero Lacuna<br />

@lacuna__paris<br />


VENUS<br />

“What<br />

are society’s beauty<br />

standards and how can one free<br />

oneself from them?<br />

Leather - Blazer Arabella Romen<br />

Trousers - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Other Stories<br />

Even before humanity was hit by<br />

the COVID-19 pandemic, there<br />

was a trend of people increasingly<br />

escaping into virtual worlds and<br />

alienating themselves from reality.<br />

Much like various other trends,<br />

social media is also reinforcing<br />

this escapism and the creation<br />

of virtual realities and false<br />

personalities.<br />

Arabella Romen is a Berlin-based<br />

fashion designer who graduated<br />

2021 from Akademie Mode &<br />

Design (AMD) in Berlin. Fashion<br />

has always been one of her biggest<br />

inspirations.<br />

<strong>In</strong> a time when everything seems<br />

possible, it is even more important<br />

to ask what fashion actually still<br />

stands for. It is the reason why she<br />

often deals <strong>with</strong> socially difficult<br />

topics in her work in order to<br />

create added value.<br />

<strong>In</strong> her final collection “Birth of<br />

Venus”, the liberation from social<br />

stigmatisation is shown. She takes<br />

up escapism in fake realities and<br />

plays <strong>with</strong> sexuality in her own<br />

unique way.<br />

The birth of Venus serves as<br />

a stage to celebrate the new<br />

beginning of a visual release<br />

of stigmas. <strong>In</strong> the collection<br />

itself, sexuality is explained in<br />

a different way through various<br />

transmitters such as the optics of<br />

a birth through slippery designed<br />

prints and sexually represented<br />

flowers. The idea is to combine<br />

human needs and virtual<br />

dimensions to create a mental<br />

safe-space.”<br />


70<br />

Leather - Blazer Arabella Romen<br />

Trousers - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela


72<br />

Coat - Blazer Arabella Romen<br />

Trousers - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela


Coat - Blazer Arabella Romen<br />

Trousers - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela

Vest - Arabella Romen<br />

Dress - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Annabelle B. Lacuna<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela

Dress - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela<br />


Vest - Arabella Romen<br />

Dress - Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela<br />


Blouse- Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela

80<br />

Fake Fur Coat - Arabella Romen<br />

Blouse- Arabella Romen<br />

Jewellery - Lacuna Paris<br />

Shoes - Maison Margiela


Being different<br />

in a world that<br />

doesn’t want<br />

you to be<br />

different<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>conversation</strong><br />

<strong>with</strong> Wooly<br />

and the Uke<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview Johanna Urbancik @johannaurbancik<br />

Photography Kanella Petropoulou<br />

Wooly and the Uke is an audiovisual artist and writer from<br />

South Asia, previously based in Berlin. Born in Lahore, Pakistan,<br />

the artist’s socio-political backdrop has profusely influenced her<br />

artistic expression, <strong>with</strong> an ever-growing appetite for creative<br />

freedom. Her musical- and visual narratives are seemingly<br />

subconsciously placed <strong>with</strong>in distant imaginaries around human<br />

fragility and perception and her sound can only be described as<br />

genre-fluid. Having recently released her single “Home”, Wooly and<br />

the Uke has shared her take on the question what and where is home?<br />

KALTBLUT caught up <strong>with</strong> Wooly and the Uke via Zoom and<br />

talked about her experiences in Pakistan, being different and<br />

how she incorporates all those experiences and emotions into her<br />

music.<br />


Where are you right now?<br />

I am in my hometown Lahore right now!<br />

Pakistan is hot around this time – Berlin<br />

could need it a little!<br />

I can imagine! I really like your single<br />

“Home”.<br />

I am glad it resonates <strong>with</strong> you. Home is the<br />

intro to the EP These Days, actually!<br />

Oh nice, when is the EP coming out?<br />

When the producers are done <strong>with</strong> it!<br />

(laughs) At the moment, I am drafting<br />

the audio narrative along <strong>with</strong> some<br />

visual storylines. I believe this project<br />

must communicate the dialogue and plea<br />

clutched <strong>with</strong>in – that is the only way it will<br />

encourage thought or a faint change where<br />

it is needed.<br />

Do you think your music is more<br />

influenced by western music or do you try<br />

to encompass South East Asian elements<br />

as well?<br />

I believe I am the embodiment of the<br />

sound I birth and nurture. <strong>In</strong> a colonial<br />

atmosphere of geographical restraint<br />

and questioned identities, I have found<br />

the influence selective and collective, yet<br />

fleeting - be the influence from South Asia,<br />

South East Asia, or the West.<br />

<strong>In</strong> South Asian society, especially Pakistan,<br />

most individuals, from a young age, are<br />

subconsciously ejecting themselves from<br />

their immediate context. The longing to<br />

escape often stems from societal policing.<br />

I have found personally that to have affected<br />

my levels of responsiveness, or appeal,<br />

towards those contextual elements you<br />

might be discussing. The art, however<br />

separate, becomes readily jumbled <strong>with</strong>in<br />

the fight or flight.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the crucial time of my musical growth,<br />

the West had been more dominant in<br />

the narrative. <strong>In</strong> the naïve, black and<br />

white, and emotional mind of a young<br />

musician, what was less understood<br />

here felt easily communicated in the<br />

overtly “open” culture outside – the<br />

details seemed far less important<br />

than the freedom the outside world<br />

exhibited. Southeast Asia, too<br />

well like South Asia, seemed too<br />

close on the mental map – the<br />

colonial projection and consumption<br />

concealed much of the influence from<br />

elsewhere, which revealed as I grew outside<br />

that bubble.<br />

I want to embrace more.<br />


Nice! Coming back to your single,<br />

you’ve said that the dark setting is<br />

there to do justice to what’s going on<br />

in Pakistan. Can you tell me a little bit<br />

about that?<br />

There is violence. Then, there is<br />

desensitization. Then, there is an<br />

eerie yet familiar atmosphere of “but<br />

this isn’t new!” as if waiting to say,<br />

“well, isn’t this new!” The dark setting<br />

becomes almost dark comedy in such a<br />

turn of events. What is urgent in other<br />

societies is stacked lower than the lowest<br />

subcategory of human rights in countries<br />

where poverty overshadows and often<br />

excuses inflicted tyranny.<br />

<strong>In</strong> such a setting, commenting or<br />

revolutionizing through art can also<br />

effortlessly be measured in competition.<br />

“Of course, it is easier to show your<br />

nation’s flaws than to show the beauty of<br />

our mountains and rivers! Propaganda!”<br />

No. This is real. We need a mirror, just<br />

as much as the play of illusions. There is<br />

no one being entertained by becoming<br />

entertainment.<br />

I’m really sorry to hear that, and as you<br />

said, it’s really hard to imagine that, as<br />

we’re so privileged here. There are no<br />

words.<br />

Why I like sound – it is an instrument<br />

that follows its rhythm of communication<br />

and is relentless in its travel – the<br />

language spoken, your background or<br />

privilege are additional embellishments<br />

that give it color.<br />

For me, I am communicating my<br />

message to you through frequencies,<br />

which I can only hope you receive and<br />

understand.<br />

The message is universal.<br />

Do you see Pakistan as your home or<br />

Berlin?<br />

I am learning, slowly yet surely, I am<br />

home.<br />

<strong>In</strong> Pakistan, the class disparity makes<br />

some see others as aliens. <strong>In</strong> a foreign<br />

land, you are an alien. The difference<br />

between an alien and a fellow is that of<br />

conformity.<br />


That seems to be the case when it<br />

comes to immigrants and refugees in<br />

Western countries. You see all those<br />

articles praising refugees who came<br />

here from Syria for example who<br />

learned German <strong>with</strong>in one second<br />

and are juggling eight different jobs<br />

to prove that they’re “worthy” of<br />

being here. It’s horrible. Tell me a<br />

little bit about the video for “Home”.<br />

It’s a very dark video, too.<br />

Home is an ode, as much as it is a plea<br />

– to accept those less understood, less<br />

accepted, the unlucky to be deemed<br />

otherly. There are countless lives<br />

taken, shaken, or gently pushed under<br />

a veil. The cloth is grief turned shelter<br />

from inflictions and labels – outlander,<br />

suggestive, too less, too much, too<br />

strange, too sexual, too damn different.<br />

I want all of us to look around, to<br />

recognise the burden each carries<br />

in secrecy – the guilt, like shackles,<br />

heavy <strong>with</strong> each secret. We carry many<br />

homes away from home – homes<br />

<strong>with</strong>in people, places afar, and <strong>with</strong>in<br />

the clouds where we feel safer than<br />

reality.<br />

How would you compare the<br />

Pakistani music industry to the<br />

German?<br />

The local music industry of Pakistan<br />

squeezes more personal resources<br />

out of the musicians. There is art,<br />

there are artists, but also dwindling<br />

infrastructure to support music<br />

production and distribution. The<br />

previously popular record labels<br />

have exited, fundings make a rare<br />

appearance and piracy triumphs.<br />

However, globalisation has bridged<br />

the newer artists <strong>with</strong> the vision of<br />

musical achievements elsewhere. They<br />

are connected <strong>with</strong> the image of what<br />

could be and should be their future,<br />

too. This has stimulated a spike in<br />

creating those platforms that lack.<br />

<strong>In</strong> Berlin, music facilitation<br />

revolutionised as a long-held priority.<br />

<strong>In</strong> Pakistan, the industry is reinventing<br />

itself, and is adamant to get what it<br />

deserves.<br />


“Being different can be like the arcade<br />

game where a mole pops up randomly,<br />

and someone has to whack them.<br />

If you’re lucky, you are noticed but go<br />

unscathed back underground.”<br />

If someone strikes, there might be<br />

applause and a reward on your fall.<br />



And would you say that<br />

Pakistani musicians are<br />

singing in their native<br />

language, or is it still very<br />

Anglo-centric?<br />

The naïve or more<br />

intellectually colonized<br />

bubble is bursting. I have<br />

observed it to become<br />

increasingly “sexy” to take<br />

ownership of your origins.<br />

There is an atmosphere of<br />

fusion, and to use language<br />

as symbolism.<br />

I find that interesting,<br />

because European<br />

musicians are slowly<br />

embracing their native<br />

languages and are<br />

embracing their cultures<br />

again, such as the South-<br />

East Asian collective<br />

Daytimers in the UK for<br />

example.<br />

I find that inspiring!<br />

Isn’t being “different” very<br />

dangerous?<br />

The “differences” are<br />

treated in distinctive<br />

ways depending on if<br />

underground or screaming<br />

overground. There are<br />

preferences laid in concrete.<br />

However, most individuals<br />

are increasingly adapting<br />

to creating safer personas,<br />

channeling energy into<br />

finding loopholes.<br />

How can you pursue your music,<br />

which is quite personal, in a<br />

climate like that?<br />

<strong>In</strong> such conditions, the juggling of<br />

façades and play of words can be a<br />

smokescreen. This act can be called<br />

performance art supplementary to<br />

the art created!<br />

It can be frightening to dance in<br />

the face of danger, be it turned<br />

away from the monster or looking<br />

it in the eye. You can migrate or<br />

choose to express while staying<br />

– either case is still a reminder of<br />

the contextual presence. However,<br />

knowing that resilience and<br />

collectivity exist between you and<br />

what is ahead can be of consolation.<br />

I aspire to find a free voice.<br />

It’s awful, I have no words. You’ve<br />

mentioned your EP earlier, will the<br />

whole EP deal <strong>with</strong> those issues?<br />

The E.P. These Days hopes to instill<br />

curiosity and questioning while<br />

also putting tales of lost love and<br />

hopes of rejoicing on the table – a<br />

tale familiar to many regardless of<br />

borders.<br />

Follow<br />

Wooly and the Uke<br />

@woolyandtheuke<br />

Being different can be like<br />

the arcade game where a<br />

mole pops up randomly,<br />

and someone has to whack<br />

them. If you’re lucky, you are<br />

noticed but go unscathed<br />

back underground. If<br />

someone strikes, there<br />

might be applause and a<br />

reward on your fall.<br />



Marcos<br />

Photography Johannes Brauner @johannes.brauner<br />

Model Marcos Acheampong signed at<br />

Spin Modelmanagement @marcosacheampong<br />

@spinmodelmanagement<br />

Styling Marcella Verweyen<br />

@marcellaverweyen<br />

@agency_bigoudi @ligawest_melanie_klein<br />

Hair & Make up<br />

Marco Alecci @marcoalecci_hh<br />

@ballsaal_artist_mgmt<br />

Assistent Ibrahim Cavas@ibrahimcvs<br />


Shirt - Klaesi Holdener<br />

Trousers - Klaesi Holdener<br />

Jacket - Hugo<br />

Shoes - Arket<br />

Necklace - Ariane Ernst<br />



Shirt - Hugo<br />

Pullover - Iris von Arnim<br />

Trousers - Hugo<br />

Shoes - Prada<br />


94<br />

Suit - MFPN<br />

Scarf - Susumu Ai<br />

Shoes - P


96<br />

Jacket - Henrik Vibskov<br />

Pullover - Iris von Arnim<br />

Cashmere Jogging Pants- Iris von Arnim<br />

Boots - Arket


98<br />

Suit - Magliano<br />

Necklace - Ariane Ernst

Cardigan - Closed<br />

Trousers - Klaesi Holdener<br />



Shirt - Klaesi Holdener<br />

Trousers - Hugo<br />

Necklace - Ariane Ernst<br />


Let’s celebrate<br />

the spiritual<br />

and mystical,<br />

the non human,<br />

alien and cyborg<br />

<strong>In</strong> <strong>conversation</strong><br />

<strong>with</strong> Ford Kelly<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview Naikee Simoneau @naikee_simoneau<br />

Ford Kelly is an Artist using mixed media to express rage, pain, joy and feelings<br />

experienced blackness as a Black Trans queer Alien living in this world. Using an<br />

Afrofuturism frame for their digital collages, Ford Kelly is sharing a Blackness reality<br />

wrote and made by Black people and reclaiming the basic right to just be.<br />

Hi Ford, tell us a little about your creative background, when did you first start doing<br />

collages and how did you come to it?<br />

As long as I can remember I have been into art and making things. Some Children<br />

found their worlds in books and I found mine in Art and designing. I liked the idea of<br />

a being able to see the creative things I imagined come to life whether it was through<br />

drawing, making clothes or craft work. I was fascinated <strong>with</strong> how things were made. It<br />

has been the easiest way for me to express myself, find myself <strong>with</strong>in, or merely getting<br />

lost inside. Art was the most natural path I felt to take when deciding what to study. I<br />

studied Fine Art and then went on to doing visual effects work,... However a few years<br />

ago I got into more consistently working <strong>with</strong> Digital Collages <strong>with</strong>in an Afrofuturist<br />

frame.<br />

What medium/tools do you feel most comfortable <strong>with</strong> when creating your work?<br />

You could say that I’m drawn strongly to everything DIY. I don’t feel like I’m bound to<br />

one medium or one project, or even one area. I’m fascinated <strong>with</strong> many aspects of art<br />

and design and want to explore as many areas and mediums as I feel like. But currently<br />

for the collages the digital world suits me.<br />

Your illustrations refer to politics, gender, race… Do you think that as an artist it’s<br />

your duty to be engaged?<br />

I’m not sure it’s possible to create art as a Black (Trans Queer) Alien <strong>with</strong>out this<br />

coming up in the work in someway or another. I don’t have the luxury of being able to<br />

pick and choose when or how I’m seen by the outside world so these identities become<br />

quite present in my day to day life. Sometimes my rage fuels me to keep engaged<br />

sometimes my hope does the same.<br />






I think often as Black artists we are looked<br />

on to create work that gives room to the<br />

personal and political. Art seems to be an<br />

acceptable platform in which we can be as<br />

candid and confrontational <strong>with</strong>out being<br />

deemed too much.<br />

My art is the vessel in which I use to<br />

narrate or start a dialogue and exchange.<br />

I find it very cathartic to illustrate these<br />

worlds in my head <strong>with</strong>out having to<br />

heavily theorize them.<br />

What does Afrofuturism mean to you<br />

and how is this reflecting on your work?<br />

I work <strong>with</strong>in Afrofuturism as a way of<br />

visualizing the endless possibilities in<br />

which we as Black people can reimagine<br />

our histories and stories that led to the<br />

Now. Afrofuturism for me is a dreamscape<br />

and a form of resistance. It can portray a<br />

side of the past, present and future that is<br />

not only filled <strong>with</strong> hope but is also about<br />

devastation. A way to give space to both<br />

the optimistic and pessimistic narratives.<br />

Afrofuturism is still an artform that<br />

centres and belongs to us as Black People.<br />

It’s about linking the diaspora beyond the<br />

usual US, dominant narrative, bringing<br />

elements of the Caribbean and beyond<br />

into focus. It’s about the celebration of the<br />

spiritual and mystical, the non human,<br />

alien and cyborg. There is space <strong>with</strong>in<br />

Afrofuturism to look into gender variant,<br />

queer and Dark skin Black representation.<br />

To look into narratives beyond the Black<br />

Kingdoms and Wealth as excellence. But<br />

also how we can just exist.<br />

How is your creative process, could you<br />

take us in the different steps when you<br />

start a new piece?<br />

It starts and moves into late night<br />

musings…<br />

What is the message you want to get<br />

across to viewers of your work?<br />

That there is no one form a path of<br />

Blackness!<br />

You just released your second Coloring<br />

Book – The Afrofuturist Coloring Book:<br />

The Dreamscape Edition. How did<br />

you come up <strong>with</strong> the idea to create a<br />

coloring Book.<br />

I used to work as an Early Childhood<br />

Educator and would create my own<br />

worksheets and coloring pages for the<br />

kids. It was important for me to have<br />

material that was gender fluid and<br />

racially diverse. One thing I noticed<br />

back then was that most of the material<br />

available for kids were very normative<br />

even when trying to show a life outside of<br />

the box.<br />




I don’t have the luxury<br />

of being able to pick and<br />

choose when or how I’m<br />

seen by the outside world<br />

so these identities become<br />

quite present in my day to<br />

day life. Sometimes my rage<br />

fuels me to keep engaged<br />

sometimes my hope<br />

does the same.<br />

Then last year I set myself a project of<br />

creating a coloring book for a friend which<br />

led me to thinking again about what kind<br />

of Coloring books were available for Black<br />

Kids and Adults and what kind of book I<br />

would have appreciated when growing up.<br />

The past few years there is a lot of new<br />

<strong>conversation</strong> hitting the mainstream,<br />

Black lives matters, colorism, … As a<br />

dark skin person living in Berlin, did you<br />

feel, see any evolution arounds you?<br />

I think it’s mainly going in cycles<br />

and trends. Somehow there are now<br />

more events and discussions around<br />

AntiBlackness, Rest, Rage and Colorism<br />

from groups and Organistations who had<br />

never touched on the topic. It’s almost<br />

like they are catching up <strong>with</strong> the Black<br />

people who have been doing this work<br />

for a longtime. I like that Blackness and<br />

its nuances are framed in the center<br />

and there isn’t room for Blackness to<br />

be a second thought. I love that we see<br />

Blackness in its darkest hues represented more and more here in<br />

Berlin.<br />

What do you wish for the future?<br />

I wish for rest as a means of Black reparations<br />

What other work/artist do you find really inspiring right now?<br />

Iki Yos Piña @ParchitaPower<br />

N.K Jemisin<br />

Nalo Hopkinson<br />

Paul Lewin<br />

Peng Black Girls - Enny feat Amia Brave<br />

Dj Bone Black @dj.bone.black<br />

What is your ultimate goal?<br />

To have a space for Black Queer and Trans people to come together and<br />

rest, dream and create.<br />

Follow<br />

Ford Kelly<br />

@SoyFordKelly<br />

@ theafrofuturistcoloringbook<br />




Olli Hull<br />

Act Normal<br />

Words Lewis Robert Cameron @lrcfashionstylist<br />

Fashion by Olli Hull @ollihull<br />

Photography Todd Oliver @todimusic_<br />

Models BJ Mcneill @beejmcneill<br />

Konstantin Zemskovas @knstntn_222<br />

Amaan Zabir @amaanzabir<br />

Patryk Kostrzewa @edgabe95<br />

Fresh from his introspective exhibit of his own experiences as a young, queer, British<br />

designer, artist Olli Hull talks to KALTBLUT about his recent installation Act Normal<br />

and what it means to be a queer creative in a world filled <strong>with</strong> constant conflict, fear and<br />

isolation.<br />

Hi Olli, first of all congrats on<br />

the exhibition and thank you<br />

for inviting Kaltblut to come<br />

along. We loved it. How have<br />

you found the response?<br />

It was a bit overwhelming! I<br />

don’t think I had fully prepared<br />

myself for how it would feel<br />

to have all of my insecurities,<br />

thoughts and feelings on<br />

display for everyone to see<br />

like that. There was a funny<br />

moment on the day I was<br />

setting up, my parents walked<br />

into the exhibition whilst I was<br />

trying to hang a naked portrait<br />

of myself <strong>with</strong> the words “I<br />

can’t say how I feel but I can<br />

send nudes to strangers online”<br />

written across it in big pink<br />

writing… The whole thing made<br />

me feel super vulnerable but I<br />

was really moved by some of<br />

the <strong>conversation</strong>s I had <strong>with</strong><br />

people who had related to some<br />

of the themes in my work, and<br />

that made it all worth it.<br />

What made you create the Act<br />

Normal exhibition and how<br />

did it come about?<br />

‘Act Normal’ was about<br />

deconstructing and challenging<br />

the concept of ‘Normality’. As<br />

someone who grew up thinking<br />

that I wasn’t ‘normal’, and who was bullied for<br />

being different, I really wanted to turn the question<br />

around and ask everyone else “well what is ‘normal’<br />

anyway?”. I wanted to reveal some of the hypocrisy<br />

in the things that our society has accepted as normal<br />

and rejected as not.<br />

Let’s go back further and talk about when you<br />

realised you wanted to become an artist/designer.<br />

Was there a light bulb moment for you and what<br />

was it like?<br />

I’ve wanted to make art since I was a child, but<br />

around 2 years ago whilst I was working as a<br />

hairstylist I made the decision to pursue a career<br />

as an artist full time. I’d been reading this book and<br />

there was a chapter that basically said that any career<br />

you choose to pursue inevitably comes <strong>with</strong> a shit<br />

sandwich. For example, you could be working in a<br />

really well-paid office job and the perks might be<br />

amazing but the shit sandwich you have to eat every<br />

day is that you really wanted to be a writer. However,<br />

the shit sandwich you’d have to eat if you chose to<br />

be a writer would be that statistically you would<br />

probably never write a best-seller, and you might be<br />

consistently broke, but on the flip side you’d get to do<br />

the thing you loved… so which shit sandwich would<br />

you rather eat? I know it sounds a bit whack and<br />

maybe obvious to a lot of people, but it was a pretty<br />

big lightbulb moment for me. I quit my hairdressing<br />

job that week.<br />

OK. All I can think of right now is Ross from<br />

Friends and ‘’MY SANDWICH’. I’m glad it has<br />

worked out for you as it can be a huge risk.. Where<br />

is your safe space as an artist?<br />


My safe space is when I’m alone in my studio,<br />

I’m disconnected from social media, my<br />

phone is on airplane mode, and I’m playing<br />

my ‘Safe Place’ playlist which is full of my<br />

favourite John Martyn and Joni Mitchel songs.<br />

Oh, and if it’s raining outside then even<br />

better!<br />

Sounds like a dream. Can you tell me what<br />

queerness mean to you?<br />

Queerness for me is making decisions that<br />

aren’t influenced by what other people think.<br />

It’s looking in the mirror and not saying to<br />

myself ‘Is this acceptable? Does this make<br />

me worthy of love?’. It’s setting my own<br />

boundaries and making my own rules about<br />

my life, relationships, career and sex. Rules<br />

that are based on my own judgment of love<br />

and kindness, in line <strong>with</strong> my truth and not<br />

what society has told me to be true.<br />

What inspires you as a designer and as an<br />

artist?<br />

<strong>In</strong>spiration comes at me from everywhere.<br />

I can be listening to a song, or in a session<br />

<strong>with</strong> my therapist, or watching The Real<br />

Housewives and I’ll think ‘I need to paint<br />

that’. I absorb lots of pop culture, podcasts,<br />

internet memes, and the news, mix that all<br />

together <strong>with</strong> my own inner chaos, chew it<br />

up and I spit out a wedding dress covered in<br />

graffiti.<br />

We love a graffiti moment. Speaking of<br />

moments, how has the last year impacted or<br />

influenced your creative process?<br />

I was fortunate enough to have a roof over<br />

my head and a space to create, so I decided<br />

I would spend isolation improving my craft<br />

and making the most of this time <strong>with</strong>out<br />

distractions. I tried to go back to basics <strong>with</strong><br />

my creative process and focused on making<br />

art that was just for me and not influenced by<br />

the approval of others. I also tried to let go of<br />

the idea that my work had to be ‘perfect’ or<br />

’finished’ which helped me to fall back in love<br />

<strong>with</strong> the process of making art rather than<br />

always focusing on the outcome.<br />

The current climate is pretty challenging,<br />

how have you been able to evolve and adapt<br />

in your work?<br />

My art is my coping mechanism. When<br />

the world is on fire and those who are<br />

supposed to be doing something about<br />

it aren’t doing so, that’s when I get my<br />

paintbrush out and take all of that anger and<br />

frustration out on the canvas. Or if there’s<br />

something challenging happening that I don’t<br />

understand or can’t process, I’ll scribble<br />

down ideas and doodles into my sketchbook.<br />

It helps me to create meaning from the chaos<br />

of life.<br />



Your work is super expressive and<br />

adaptive in that it can translate across<br />

a multitude of formats. Do you have<br />

any plans to expand? The sofas looked<br />

amazing. We need an Olli Hull sofa at<br />

Kaltblut HQ.<br />

Absolutely! I’d love to create more<br />

furniture and household objects as well<br />

as my clothing. I love the idea that art<br />

doesn’t need to be on a white wall or in<br />

a posh gallery. <strong>In</strong> fact, I think right now<br />

<strong>with</strong> everything going on in the world,<br />

that is one of the last places art needs<br />

to be. We need to be wearing art, sitting<br />

on it, eating off it! I believe art has so<br />

much power to open up <strong>conversation</strong>s<br />

and influence positive change.<br />

Your designs have featured heavily<br />

in music videos, most recently the<br />

wonderful James <strong>In</strong>digo’s video ‘Van<br />

Gogh’ wearing the Annulment Dress.<br />

Who would be your all time dream<br />

collab <strong>with</strong> any musician dead or alive<br />

and why?<br />

Dolly Parton! That woman is a saint<br />

sent from queer heaven. I have so much<br />

love and respect for pop artists who<br />

manage to stay grounded, humble and<br />

remain a positive force in the world<br />

that goes beyond their music.<br />

A Dolly stan we love to see it. Tell<br />

me more about how you incorporate<br />

the themes of consumerism and the<br />

impacts of fast fashion and social<br />

media <strong>with</strong>in your work?<br />

I like to use lots of pop culture<br />

references and symbolic imagery such<br />

as iPhones, masks, crowns, demonic<br />

faces and exaggeratedly proportioned<br />

bodies. I use these in an attempt to<br />

form a visual language that represents<br />

our societies decaying human nature,<br />

that is masked by the spectacle of<br />

consumerism, fashion, beauty, reality<br />

TV, and social media. There’s a lot of<br />

text in my work too, which I use as a<br />

way to parody the ‘shadow self’; the<br />

part of us that’s trapped inside an<br />

egotistical bubble of materialism, greed<br />

and entitlement.<br />

up in landfill. There is so much fabric and<br />

clothing that already exists that could be reused<br />

or recycled. There really is no need to keep<br />

producing new things other than to satisfy the<br />

unhealthy need to consume. I want to try and<br />

help to change that and normalise wearing upcycled,<br />

vintage and second hand.<br />

As a designer you are big on wearable art, how<br />

do you find the balance between creativity and<br />

commerciality as a brand?<br />

I’m constantly re-balancing. As much as I like<br />

to create work that is totally from the heart<br />

and not influenced by the approval of other<br />

people, it’s obviously really rewarding when<br />

people want to buy my work, and ultimately,<br />

it’s people buying and wearing my work that is<br />

going to get my message out into the world. I’ve<br />

found that listening to my audience has helped<br />

to influence and push my work in ways I may<br />

not have considered, and if anything, this has<br />

contributed to my creative process. I have to<br />

pull myself back every now and again and ask<br />

myself ‘what message am I communicating and<br />

is this in line <strong>with</strong> my values?’.<br />

Finally, what can we expect to see from Olli<br />

Hull in 2022 and beyond?<br />

I feel as though ‘Act Normal’ was both the<br />

end and the beginning of a stage in my career<br />

and my life. It was my first collective body<br />

of work, and when I stood in that room and<br />

looked around I could see so much progress<br />

and so many different avenues for me to<br />

explore further. I’ve also got some exciting<br />

collaborations coming up over the next few<br />

months so I can’t wait to take everything I’ve<br />

learned from my exhibition and apply it to<br />

these new projects. I can’t wait to share it <strong>with</strong><br />

you all!<br />

We can’t wait for you to share it <strong>with</strong> us and<br />

we will be holding out for that Dolly Parton<br />

collab.<br />

ollihull.com<br />

How are you working sustainably?<br />

I really try to keep sustainability at the<br />

core of my brand. Everything I sell is<br />

up-cycled or reworked from second<br />

hand pieces and scrap fabric. All my<br />

wedding dresses came from eBay or<br />

Depop, and I love raiding charity shops!<br />

It’s estimated that 92 million tonnes of<br />

textile waste are created every single<br />

year globally, and 85% of that ends<br />



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