A KALTBLUT exclusive. Photography and creative direction by Joris Paterson. Models are Tsoto Kossi Chouna and Mohamed Traoré signed at Jr Models Agency (Paris). Photography assistant by Camille Asquin.
The storytelling of Cocody Boys
“Born on Ivory Coast, I have always wondered about the question of identity. I grew up in Cocody, a township located in the heart of Abidjan (Ivory Coast). This neighbourhood is known for its gentle and joyful way of life, with its wide avenues lined with manicured lawns and its architectural eclecticism. With this project, I relive some scenes from my childhood: peaceful, carefree, simple.
Far from the clichés and stereotypes too often associated with black culture, and more particularly with black men, I wish, with Cocody Boys, to bring to the forefront a positive and multifaceted vision of black culture. To do this, I use fashion as a way to counterbalance the hyper-masculine stereotypes that have dominated the media for decades. Inspired by black artists (Malick Sidibé, Wales Bonner, Ibrahim Kamara, Samuel Fosso, Joshua Woods, Campbell Addy…), I stage, with Cocody Boys, an intimate story between my models, like two brothers who live a moment of complicity while playing the awale in Abidjan.
Reflecting certain traditional African values, the two players encourage the participation of the spectators, which provokes a convivial moment between friends or family. I myself used this game in my childhood in two different ways, first in its primary function but also in a more serious context during my arithmetic classes.”
“Hello, my name is Joris Paterson, a French-Ivorian freelance film photographer based in Paris, France. I am an observant person. One day, I had the curiosity to buy a camera and learn about photography by myself. Since that day, I’ve been photographing my life, friends as models for 4 years as a hobby and I fell in love with it.
I have always been intrigued by the impact an image can have on a generation of people. Today as a black photographer, I feel the need to document black life and represent people of my colour from a new and above all authentic perspective. Representing them with pride, freedom, sensitive, uninhibited, fluid youth, where an appeased masculinity foreshadows a world emancipated from all oppression.”