KesselsKramer did the photography and design of a (one-off) magazine, called ‘Jesus!’ Though it has nothing to do with the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, it does make you think about religions in general – and Christianity in particular, of course. It’s published by Lente Media and made for those who believe in Jesus, those who don’t, and everyone in between. The editor in chief is the famous Dutch author Arthur Japin. About the magazine he says: “It’s not what you expect. Believe me.” He is right.
Japin, who is not necessarily religious but drawn towards “the incongruous,” discovered a few things about Christianity by making this magazine, he explains in the main article. For example, he traveled to the Negev desert in Israël to experience what Jesus experienced when he was tempted by the devil. It actually happened! Japin all of a sudden – involuntarily – was in the middle of a military training. So this is religion, he concludes; “groupthink and violence.” But he also discovered it means love and ultimate forgiveness – which is the only thing, he adds, that is able to save the world.
Other interesting minds sharing their view for this special issue are: psychiatrist Bram Bakker (he talks about beneficence and forgiveness), behavioral scientist Ben Tiggelaar (about leadership), journalist Leo Blokhuis (about how Jesus has influenced pop music) and photography expert Hans Aarsman, who analyzes the composition and details of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
KesselsKramer’s ECD Erik Kessels also created some content for the magazine; a virtual 3D pelgrimage. Throughout the magazine photos of Jesus’ holy grounds can be brought to life with the app Layar.
Finally, the cover is part of a fashion reportage portraying famous personalities from Jesus’ life, photographed in a contemporary way and dressed in second hand clothing from the Salvation Army. Maria as a KLM-like stewardess, Thomas as a student and Zacchaeus as ‘fly on the wall.’
Despite the often ironic tone of the magazine, it was created by four individuals who are Christians and want to update Jesus’ image. Quite admirable. And from a brand perspective (sorry, we are an ad magazine) also a smart move. It shows that even a religion is able to modernise and thus address an entirely new target group.
As said, it makes you think about Christianity. And religions in general…
The magazine can be bought online here.