A platform built to connect communities through creativity and culture, the team behind Sole DXB launches sole.digital, a feature-focused, mixed media site that will present work from a diverse all-star cast.
Providing global contributors with a forum to express their take on contemporary culture, sole.digital’s content will include essays, interviews, film, photography, podcasts and other formats from contributors that represent a diverse group of women and men from around the globe including the UAE, USA, UK, South Africa, Jamaica, France, Canada, and Turkey. Built on its existing pillars, sole.digital features exclusive coverage on music, fashion, the visual arts, and sports, while also focussing on pressing social issues like race, sustainability, and the environment.
“Sole.digital is a natural extension of our storytelling and has been on the cards for a while. Historically, we travel a lot and meet people in their own cities, which then translates into our print magazine and festival. We’re now using the platform to build new relationships, hear more points-of-view, and start conversations on the issues that are important to us. We’ll keep expanding our community and do what we’ve always done…using our platforms to showcase creative excellence and bringing you our view on the very best in contemporary culture.” says Sole co-founder, Joshua Cox.
The sole.digital founders expect the site to grow over the next 24 months into a leading connector of creativity and commerce, and vying for a global audience, the founders will lean on their deep international roster of relationships and also continue championing stories from the Middle East, India, Africa, the Caribbean, and and their diasporas.
Yousra Elbagir, a Sudanese-British journalist and writer, is one of the new voices featured on sole.digital. In her debut piece she profiles Enas Satir, a Toronto-based Sudanese illustrator expressing her personal experiences with racism at home and abroad.
The site will also be the primary space where audiences can watch exclusive never-before-seen festival content from previous Sole DXB editions, including workshops, performances, and standing-room only talks like the Bobbito Garcia moderated Black Star talk; yasiin bey and Talib Kweli’s first joint-interview in over a decade.
Other contributors and works that will feature on launch will include:
- Homeroom, a new podcast series hosted by Bunyamin Aydin, the founder and creative director of Istanbul-based lifestyle platform Les Benjamins. The series is co-produced with Sole. The new series will feature guests that Bunyamin has met on his creative and professional journey, like fashion designer and DJ Heron Preston, Global Head of Puma Select, Yassine Saidi, and Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
- Actor, musician, writer, dub poet, and previous speaker at Sole DXB, Sheldon Shepherd, pens “Dummy”, a poem that laments the loss of individuality through social constructs.
- Veteran music journalist and senior editor at Stereogum, Tom Breihan, debuts The Annual, his regular column for sole.digital that takes an in-depth look at the most important rap albums released each year, starting with Kurtis Blow’s 1980 self-titled debut album.
- Cape Town rapper, and longtime Sole collaborator, YoungstaCPT, narrates a photo essay shot in the Cape Flats by Parisian documentary photographer Maxwell Aurélien James. The powerful images show how vibrant life exists in forgotten corners of society, while also honestly portraying the challenges of daily life in South Africa’s townships.
- An exclusive 90-minute mix by Melbourne-based sister duo, MAI. Sisters Dijok and Teejae took Sole DXB by storm last year with their 4-hour afrobeats, grime, and dancehall DJ set. The mix is accompanied by an in-depth interview with the sisters.
- Dubai-based Kenyan filmmaker, Amirah Tajdin, shares her film Taga Rito: An Exercise Club in III Acts, her homage to the Filipino community in the UAE.
- Bo-Kaap natives Salik Harris, Ameen Habib, and Yasser Booley document their efforts to feed their impoverished local community through a neighborhood daily meal programme. The Cape Town community organizers share their learnings on building a circular and sustainable economy for their neighborhood.