Back to the F**kture: Rhona Ezuma

type - podcast
In the latest episode of the Back to the F**kture podcast, The Future Laboratory’s co-founder Martin Raymond chats with Rhona Ezuma, entrepreneurial founder of THIIIRD magazine, a multi-faceted platform that champions next-generation creatives from people of colour and Black, queer, trans and non-binary communities who are redefining our collective tomorrows through their work and lives. 


Thiiird isn’t just a magazine about arts, fashion and culture, it’s a platform, a concept and a staging ground for ‘decolonised thinking’, according to founder, creative director and editor-in-chief Rhona Ezuma.

It is also a magazine about definitions of intersectionality that embrace new kinds of engagement about mind, body and spirit – wellness as politics, toxic masculinity as vice, vulnerability as learning – as well as those that are defined by colour, gender, inclusivity and sexuality.

It is, as she says, a concept about third-space moments, third-culture people and ‘intersecting stories where juxtaposing ideas and identifications can meet, collide and create new and exciting things that are less hierarchical, more emancipated’.

But they are also transformative. In her hands – and under her creative eye – these are the places, people and ‘messy amalgamations’, as she sometimes refers to that feeling of coming from a third-culture place, that take on a magical, mystical and challenging beauty that is designed to be ‘liminal, transformative and challenging’. These three words in particular shine through in the palettes of her shoots, the shimmer of her styling and the lush colour of the photographers she works with to banish the monochrome ordinary of the everyday.

Crucially, they are also stories about how we develop and grow as human beings. ‘Race is a journey, gender is being a woman, man or other – to limit them, or to imagine that we should go to bed as the same people we were when we woke, isn’t just facile, it’s failing to realise our potential.’

More to the point, as she tells me in my latest Back to the F**ture podcast, ‘it’s delusional’. Plain and simple. ‘And definitely one of the delusions that a lot of people hold quite closely to them is this idea that humanity has always been the same, and we are definitely a continuation of what’s come before us, but that we are sticking to strict models of what it means to be a man, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a Black person.’

Published by:

19 May 2023

Author: Martin Raymond



Left: Rhona Ezuma. Right: Riding Dreams, Body Movements Issue, Ph. Megan Eagles.

Her magazine, like her entrepreneurial work, sits in opposition to this continuum, but does it by highlighting the stories of those people who are already disrupting the now and redefining the next. A Black collective, the Swim Dem Crew, for example, challenge the notion that Black people don’t swim. Skater UKtis members remind us that Muslim women do skate. The S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys Project breaks down the boundaries of how we see Black boys’ lives. A modest fashion designer uses her self-affirming designs to call out police for wrongful imprisonment – and a Black/trans/dis/abled/athlete simply does.

None of these stories ignores the real and all too present and ongoing struggles of the faces and voices within them – Black, non-binary, queer, trans, intersex, other – but they provide us, she believes, with new maps, clear ways and alt-purposes to ‘develop and grow… and that’s something that happens from childhood to adulthood. So why wouldn’t that also expand into the future in the way that we understand these categories? Why shouldn’t these fictional categories like gender, like race, be re-imagined and then lived differently?’

Her latest issue, Body Movements, is testament to this. It is a joyful, self-affirming feminism of a different order, a next-age sensibility – one that draws on intersectionality, yes, but one that calls on us all, as she says, ‘to acknowledge that there are times when different people’s voices matter more, and marginalised voices in our publication are always going to be the ones that are at the forefront because they’re the ones that are invisible in wider society’.

And her job? To dial up their sounds, their colour, their voices and lives so that all of those third spaces, places and people – she includes herself in the latter – become the norm, where self-affirmation doesn’t require proof, or in the final analysis, defending! 

You can listen to the full podcast here, and find out more about Rhona Ezuma and issue six of THIIIRD magazine here.

Tune in to the podcast on Audioboom, Spotify, Apple.