A Magazine Curated By Grace Wales Bonner

BARAKA, A. FUNDI. (1970) In Our Terribleness. Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York.

In a series of Afro-Atlantic narratives, Grace Wales Bonner weaves together archival portfolios and historical ephemera to anoint the themes of her issue, subtitled Rhapsody in the Street, and commission new works within it.

A Magazine Curated By Grace Wales Bonner is a continuation of the research that the designer dedicates to her craft, diving deep into the literary and visual traditions documenting Blackness in fleeting pockets of history or as a part of a larger interconnected history. Rather than the monolith often portrayed by Eurocentric narratives, the designer muses on the complexities and nuances of the Black Atlantic expressed throughout various disciplines, from essays and poems to paintings and portraits. Between the collection of Black poetry and photography books, Bonner draws a continuous line starting from In Our Terribleness through the Sweet Flypaper of Life to the Sweet Breath of Life. Discover these references in dialogue with one another, informing a new generation of artists and culminating into A Magazine Curated By Grace Wales Bonner.

In Memory of Greg Tate, whose profound thoughts examining contemporary culture in Flyboy in the Buttermilk (1992) continue to inspire the artists featured in this edition and beyond.

The Sweet Breath of Life by Ntozake Shange

James Baldwin/Jim Brown and the Children by Hilton Als

The Sweet Flypaper of Life by Roy DeCarava & Langston Hughes

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Autoportrait by Samuel Fosso

Listening to Images by Tina M. Campt

Figures in Black by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The British Isles by Jamie Hawkesworth

Looking for Langston [Film excerpt] by Essex Hemphill

Brother to Brother by Essex Hemphill

The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes

Liz Johnson Artur by Liz Johnson Artur

Mental Fight by Ben Okri

Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

Catechism of d neoamerican hoodoo church by Ishmael Reed

Parasomnia by Viviane Sassen

Studio Work by Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Paul Mpagi Sepuya by Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Mali Twist by Malick Sidibé

Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph by Ming Smith

Volta Photo by Sanlé Sory

Peuple de la nuit by Sanlé Sory

Fabric of Reality by Beat Streuli

List of Works




The 26th issue is the Vietnamese-American designer’s most intimate project to date, inviting readers to explore the idea of home and understand the internal narratives of the shy designer.

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