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Work / Publication

Campbell Addy takes us inside the pages of Niijournal’s long-awaited second issue

Since we last spoke to Campbell Addy last year about life after leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses, the photographer’s name has been popping up everywhere we turn, and he’s even partnered with Getty Images to shake up stock photography by making a series of 42 new stock images featuring diverse models straight from the books of his own casting agency Nii Agency.

After reaching his crowdfunding goal, this weekend, the photographer is due to drop the keenly awaited second issue of his independent publication Niijournal with an exhibition that will run from 29 – 30 July at Shoreditch’s Protein Studios as part of the space’s Protein Presents series.

Niijournal II features musician Kelela captured by Campbell himself, musician Kelsey Lu shot by Tyler Mitchell, stylists Mischa Notcutt and Ian Bradley, photographer Nadine Ijewere, activist and model Tschan Andrews, photographer Dexter Lander and stylist Ib Kamara together contributing poetry, interviews and opinion pieces.

We caught up with the photographer, filmmaker, publisher and some-time poet (look our for 19 in this issue of Niijournal, in which Campbell addresses his own mental heath issues) for a glimpse inside the pages of the new issue.

What was the most important thing you learned from the making of the first issue of Niijournal?
The most important thing I would say I’ve learned was to trust in myself and it’s okay to ask questions. I’d never worked for a magazine nor had I worked in publishing, so it was new territory for me. Initially I was afraid to ask advice and questions for fear that people will perceive me as inadequate. 

How has Niijournal developed as a publication since issue one? 
Since Niijournal Issue I I’ve developed it to contain an array of contributors. This will allow for the work to truly be diverse. With the access to a variety of contributors Niijournal II is able to showcase work that wouldn’t usually be in reach for our readership/ demographic. 

Another way the issue has developed is by expanding the topics we touch on, and how we launch the second issue. Mental health is something I’ve struggled with and throughout the issue it’s threaded via writing and images. We will also be hosting an exhibition with Protein, which invites viewers into the mind of Niijournal

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So what’s new for the second issue?
With the second issue we’ve launched merchandise, Niijournal totes, posters and badges. We’ve also printed twice as much as the last issue so we can reach a wider audience, especially overseas. Aside from that we’ve also created short films that will play during the launch and exhibition with Protein Gallery. The exhibition is most probably the newest and most exciting part of Niijournal II, as I wasn’t restricted to a number of pages when creating content this time around. 

Run us through the issue – which features/collaborators are you most excited about? 
One photo series I’m in love with is _Oh Barkandji_ by Ihab – they reached out to me last summer with an amazing photo series that showcases their hometown in Australia, which is usually deemed too dangerous. These are stories I wouldn’t be able to access on my own. 

I love the interviews as well, as we speak with creative duo Ib Kamara and Kristin-Lee Moolman, Cosima, Izaak Adu and Kelsey Lu. I’ve learned a great deal from meeting and listening to what they had to say and I hope the readers will as well. 

But overall I am just excited to share the work of all the contributors, I believe each story/poem/visual is outstanding!

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