Taking its name from the axial tilt of the Earth, 23.5 is a brand extension of VSCO that serves as a creative platform dedicated to supporting and exploring global cultural perspectives. VSCO is an art and technology company based in Oakland, California that aims to empower people everywhere to create, discover, and connect. Its goal is to honor art and artist while fueling a worldwide creative movement through innovative tools and experimental projects. VSCO is one of the better photo editing apps in the market in addition to offering a distinct community of creatives (outside of Instagram). 23.5 is the company’s foray into original content, which has become a key marketing strategy for many companies.
23.5’s first original project, I & I, examines the Rastafari faith as it exists in contemporary Jamaica and how it’s expressed through Rasta elders, scholars, and a generation of young artists and activists. “I & I” is presented within a series of in-depth interviews, an essay by writer Anicée Gaddis, and an immersive photo portfolio by Alessandro Simonetti.
Rastafari is integral to Jamaican culture as it represents a unique a way of life, a social movement, and mind set. Both Gaddis and Simonetti visited some intimate Rastafarian communities, photographing their encounters with individuals in black and white, which brings out the subjects’ raw character. Check out the episode of “I & I” below and more photos no 23.5’s website.