COVER 1: AÏSSA MAÏGA
COVER 2: BEN HARPER
COVER 3: ROSE
COVER 4: YULIANA & SALOME
In the beginning, I had a different theme in mind for this edition but after a divisive election cycle in the US, which has led to a tumultuous political climate, I felt the need to put together an issue that finds a balance between contributing to the movement and creating wholeness. No matter how hard we fight, we need inner peace to keep us going. It has become difficult to keep up with our leaders these days because you struggle with being misinformed when you are paying attention and uninformed when you are not – that is the nature of our current system.
Part of our mission as an arts, fashion, and culture publication is to reflect current times while also creating a realm of intuitive calm when readers flip through our pages. I am proud to have an amazing team of contributors who continue to collaborate with me. Their vision, talent, creativity, and diverse backgrounds are what help produce amazing results. What makes Ubikwist so unique, besides the stunning photography, is the full complement of compelling and beautiful stories these artists and activists share. They are filled with hope, inspiration, persuasion, conviction and, in this specific issue, Harmony. To still be able to push boundaries every season is proof of our continuous growth. It gets better with every edition and the dream is to reach a wider audience and find more investors who believe in the project.
This past election in the US was bigger than the candidates on the ballot, and America got it wrong. It was a chance to say NO to sexism, xenophobia, misogyny, bigotry, racism and Islamophobia. Instead the White House was handed to a man who embodied those deleterious stances, insulting people for their cultural background. Regardless of your party affiliation, you cannot deny the outcome has affected every minority out there. Women and their allies have marched around the world to make their voices heard; families are on the verge of being broken up due to threats of mass deportation and travel bans; hate crimes against minorities have risen.
So now what? We fight for our values and make our voices heard. In doing so, we also seek to establish Harmony to help us find an equilibrium.
When I think of Harmony, I think of something you create for yourself – your idea of how you should live. It involves the people in your life, your relationships, your family, where you reside, your everyday experiences, your beliefs, your story, your art and passion. It’s when all the dots connect. Harmony is a state of mind.
I also think of a world where true harmony means family not waking up in terror because of losing their loved ones; women having full control of their reproductive health decisions; Black and Brown men and women not becoming hashtags simply because they encounter police officers; a diverse leadership on the national stage that is representative of every American. I think of a world where a young man or woman can live up to his or her full potential without any limitations. As we keep up with the everyday battle for progressivism and equality, I want this issue to join the conversation in the fight for freedom while concurrently serving as an escape for Harmony.
Photographs Sherif Mokbel, Styling Giannie Couji
“It starts and ends with the music for me – silence, a blank page, and a restless spirit.”
Photographs Geoffroy de Boismenu
HARMONY IS AN ABSTRACT, IT IS NOT AN END
“My job is also to propose new viewpoints, to move people’s gaze, and to push boundaries. And I am proud of that.”
“Because it is difficult to materialize architectural impulses, I chose painting to investigate impulses in themselves…”
“I like to work with contradictions –to use everyday items.”
“Collecting is both a love of art and a conceit.”
Publisher and Founder Giannie Couji
Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director Giannie Couji
Design Director Louison Costes
Art Directors Giannie Couji & Warren Reich
Consultant at Large Irene Silvagni
Beauty Director Topolino
Contributing Fashion Editors
Savannah Baker, Joana Dacheville & Jean-Charline Tomlinson,
Laurent Dombrowicz, Cynthia Lawrence-John, Lisa Mosko,
Vinnie Pizzingrilli, Christian Schleisner,
Jen Smith, Neil Stuart, Hanae Uwajima,
Contributing Casting Directors
Maurilio Carnino, Julius Poole, Sibylle de Saint Phalle
Belinda Becker, Nana Blankson,
Masha Calloway, Rokhaya Diallo, Roger Joseph,
Spencer Leigh, Monique Long, JP Plunier,
Gary Powell, Warren Reich, Gary Robinson,
Steven Tate, Kurt Thometz
Camilla Akrans, Frederic Arenda, Sasha Arutyunova,
Savannah Baker, Steeve Beckouet, Geoffroy de Boismenu,
Adrian Caridi, Christian Kilrain Carter Coleman, Agathe Champsaur,
Delphine Diallo, Sandrine Dulermo & Michael Labica,
Jermaine Francis, Iñaki, Minoru Kaburagi, Betina La Plante,
David Loftus, Sherif Mokbel, Søren Mørk, G.Prado, Warwick Saint,
Craig Salmon, Frank L Stewart, Steen Sundland,
Thierry Van Biesen, Sean Waltrous, Paul Westlake