This is the very first issue of SKEWED Conversations. “Devoted to ideas, art, design and communication” the magazine is “an artistic roadmap to the world around us” and forms one element of SKEWED Production’s wider project.

Although SKEWED was founded last year by Marcus Engman, a former Head of Design at IKEA, really it is headed by a collective group of creatives whose wider aim is to explore how design and communication can be developed symbiotically (and well away from the world of marketing) through collaboration.

This issue of SKEWED Conversations is based in the creative scene of Dakar in Senegal and features the work of 15 artists who have produced 30 pages of artwork. The magazine opens with a profile of one of these artists, Selly Raby Kane who works from a studio in the centre of Dakar and in her picture wears star-shaped glasses and a sequined face mask “Not for protection against the elements, just as a matter of style.”

Part of the collective Muus Du Tex (meaning 'cats don’t smoke' in Wolof) she is an artist as well part of a new wave of African fashion designers. Her clothing is brightly futuristic, which she says is a result of her early introduction into sci-fi films such as Alien by her father. But her garments also integrate traditional aspects, including a technique the Baye Fall, the Islamic Sufi order, use to make their intricate patchwork textiles.  

“I think,” Kane says, “that there is a misconception of modernity in my country. I think our politicians too often feel that modernity is looking and doing like Paris or Dubai. But it’s not that at all. African modernity … It’s about looking at what we have, how it adapts to our time now.”

As well as Selly Raby Kane, SKEWED Conversations features the work and words of Lun La Lame, Ken Aicha Sy and Kër Thiosanne amongst others.

SKEWED Conversations Issue #1 Dakar is available here.

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