2016 has been a tough year. From terror attacks, to the refugee crisis, to Brexit, to Trump, it's often felt like the mad men were winning. But we owe it to ourselves and each other to keep moving. A positive that has come out of this year is a renewed sense of unity amongst our peers; a respect and compassion; empathy, and that's something to treasure. If we're in it together, we're going to look out for each other. We're a community. While putting together this issue, it was impossible not to be influenced by world affairs. We called upon i-D's network of photographers to hit the roads post election and document the hopes and fears of the boys and girls they met. While it was unsurprising to discover that Hillary Clinton won the youth vote, it was remarkable just how many young people choose not to vote at all. You can't help but wonder - as with Brexit - if they had, would the outcome have been different?
In her first cover shoot for i-D, Zoe Ghertner teams with Julia Sarr Jamois in LA to shoot 2016's breakout star Sasha Lane. Spotted on a Florida beach by Academy Award winning director Andrea Arnold, Sasha wowed critics and audiences alike with her raw talent in American Honey. We chat to Sasha about her thoughts on Trump's new America to challenging the status quo. "Sometimes rules and concepts need to be turned upside down," she says. "No one remembers or lives by the girl who sits quietly in the corner, like a shell. I want my energy to move people." With three more films in the pipeline, 2017 looks set to be the 21-year-old Texan's year. Another film set to change the face of cinema is Moonlight, the highly acclaimed coming of age story by director Barry Jenkins. We meet Ashton Sanders, the film's star, whose poignant and heartfelt portrayal of a boy on the brink of adulthood will move you to tears. "I want people to walk away from Moonlight feeling empathetic and full of love," he tells i-D of a role that's deservedly generating Oscar's buzz. If you haven't seen it already, book your tickets now.
In Power to the Party we meet AFROPUNK's founder Matthew Morgan, who brought his cult festival to the UK this September. "When I was growing up there was no scene for black alternative kids," he tells i-D. "The idea was unheard of. I want AFROPUNK to encourage people to learn from each other, speak to each other and liberate one another." With performances from SZA, Cakes Da Killa, Lady Leshurr and Grace Jones, we meet the people who made the party. Awful Records put the fun in dysfunctional and lead i-D's team astray at their Hackney Church gig, and the music team curate the hottest talents of the New Year, from Dave, to The Rhythm Method, Raye and more. We also chat Spike Lee's new film Chi-Raq with Teyonah Parris, Lil Yachty shares his dreams for the top, and Hopper Penn shows us what not to do on a skateboard.
So out with the old, and in with the new, may you be happy the whole year through. Next year, art and optimism are more important than ever, so keep painting, keep writing, keep designing, keep dreaming! Happy New Year from everyone at i-D x
Holly Shackleton, Editor-in-Chief
Photography Zoë Ghertner
Styling Julia Sarr-Jamois
Sasha wears all clothing Louis Vuitton spring/summer 17