Athian wears Jacket Tiger of Sweden. T-shirt Paul Smith.

Athian Akec: "Now is the moment to create a movement to bring about a new age of transformation"

The young activist and politician on how to make Britain, Europe and the world a better place.

by Athian Akec
21 September 2020, 11:38am

Athian wears Jacket Tiger of Sweden. T-shirt Paul Smith.

This story originally appeared in Up + Rising, a celebration of extraordinary Black voices, and is the first chapter of i-D's 40th anniversary issue (1980-2020).

i-D chronicled over 100 activists and artists, musicians and writers, photographers and creatives, in Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis, LA, London, New York, Paris and Toronto.

“I want to be the political voice of my generation. As a 17 year old working class Black Londoner my motivation to be a politician is driven by a burning desire to bring wealth, power and resources to communities that bear the brunt of racial, environmental and economic justice. The coronavirus pandemic has placed us at the crossroads of history — we have a once in a generation, once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our economy, our education system, our society and our world. My ultimate ambition is to become Prime Minister. I would hope to run a government that transforms Britain, Europe and our world. This is my plan for how to make it happen.

I’d have three main priorities. Firstly I want to usher in a new age of economic transformation. A government ran by me would usher in a new age of good, well paid jobs, more power to workers and an economic model that puts people over profit. Secondly creating a country where Black Lives Matter. To bring resources, wealth and decision making power to Black communities that for too long have faced economic deprivation, insecure housing, youth services, properly funded education, police brutality and other forms of systemic institutional racism. Thirdly I’d want to tackle head on the existential threat of climate change through a Green New Deal that would involve Billions of pounds of investment in green infrastructure, jobs and technology.

Now is the moment to create a movement to bring about a new age of transformation. I hope to play my part."

Top and trousers Kenzo.


Photography Rafael Pavarotti.
Styling Ibrahim Kamara.

Hair Virginia Moreira at MA+World Group.
Styling assistance Mark Mutyambizi and Marina de Magalhaes.
Hair assistance Charles Stanley.
Casting Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Alexandra Antonova.

Black Lives Matter
athian akec