I could never take all the credit for putting together this issue, or take props due to Studio83 all for myself. There is a huge team behind this magazine, and I’m just the face of it all. For this issue, we decided to do things differently: one writer, one photo shoot and one illustration per sin. It definitely kept thing interesting - the choices were harder, and the debates endless! Lust. Greed. Gluttony. Pride. Sloth. Envy. Wrath. The idea of the Seven Deadly Sins is based on archaic religious laws that were used to “educate and instruct” (read: control) humanity. Whether or not this is the modus operandi of religion to this day is up to you and your friends to discuss at your next dinner party. Seeing as they go back to the 14th Century (according to all-knowing Wikipedia), perhaps these “deadly sins” need to be re-looked.
Having a particularly intense relationship with food, should perhaps not hold the same weight as lusting after a married woman. Whether we think about them or not, most of us live these sins on a daily basis. But still, there’s something that always grabs people’s attention when you package them as SEVEN DEADLY SINS – conjuring images of sexy, raw, unflinching, real and dangerous behaviour. Since forever, popular culture has had an obsession with these sins, either separately, or as a collective (most popular is the thrilling movie Se7en; but also Dante’s literary collection The Divine Comedy, and even Mzansi-born artist Kendell Greers has done work inspired by this theme). So, as much as it seemed cool at the beginning to conceptualise around the Seven Deadly Sins, the more we worked on this issue, the more I started to think about what these sins mean and how each of us translates them differently – in good and bad ways. But it’s never as simple as it seems, is it – why else have these sins been topical for the last seven centuries? Nonetheless, my take on reconsidering these sins is due to the fact that there are worse sins out there that we commit on the daily.
“If someone comes to you and asks for help, and you can help them, you’re supposed to help them. Why wouldn’t you?” - Gil Scott-Heron
I believe that if you are at a position to help someone and you refuse them, that’s the biggest sin you can commit. You are hindering progress of not only this person, but the other people this person could have helped as a result. And how are we, as society, meant to grow and improve if we each keep all our knowledge, resources and skills to ourselves? Each of us is where we are today because at some point, someone helped us, and being selfish doesn’t benefit anyone but yourself. And even the benefits to yourself are short-lived because what you put out there will eventually come back to you. And if you put nothing out there, you get nothing back.
(edit: you can view the spread version on Issuu)