Benji Knewman (a life that you can read) is a biannual book-a-zine from Riga, Latvia, at the helm of which (i.e. its curator) is its eponymous editor, a 39-year-old man whose existence, whether real or fictitious, is open to imagination. But what we know for certain is that he loves to travel and to pen down stories of his sojourns solely for our reading pleasure,
revealing a bit of Latvian culture to us, en route.
First up, meet Benji, the Editor-at-Large, “Benji Knewman is a man, around 39 years old. He’s trying to be genuine, and it seems he sometimes manages. Just like his grandfather who used to say: “Ben, how you spend your day is how you spend your life!” Currently Benji Knewman is more everywhere than anywhere. Mostly on the road. He’s still in search of his own perfect day. While looking for it, he curates a biannual bookzine, telling stories about people who don’t pretend and who can simply be. Covering a myriad of vocations and lifestyles, as well as geographical locations, they are living proof that you don’t have to be conventional to have a good life. In the end, everything is going to be great”. (source - Benji Knewman website)
In this third edition, Benji continues to explore Latvia and introduces us to the people of this mystical Baltic region, amongst them, brand architect Philippe Mihailovich, urban event planners Toms Kokins and Evelina Ozola, erstwhile Prime Minister Maris Gailis, artist Auseklis Baušķenieks.
Editor-at-large | Benji Knewman
Editor-in-chief| Agnese Kleina
Art Director| Madara Krievina
Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, one of the three Baltic states. For those of us, whose knowledge about Latvia is limited to just this, the last chapter of the book-a-zine, chapter six, would be a good place to start. An interview with the erstwhile Prime Minister of the country Maris Gailis, a man considered instrumental in the restoration of Latvia’s independence in 1991. His story is impressive and serves as an excellent introduction to the Latvian history - of its past and its proud resurgence.
After this, eager to get acquainted with the culture and the people of Latvia, we lap up everything the book-a-zine has to offer. An introduction to - fine young urbanists, who care about the health of the city; a chef who writes a diary on discovering the taste of his land; a father and son duo, in conversation about life-in-general, a subtle introduction to people and life in Latvia.
We poured over the spellbinding art work of Latvian surrealist, Auseklis Baušķenieks. A selection of his work is introduced in the book-a-zine by people in the know of the era that his paintings represent.
It was an absolute pleasure to get introduced to Benji and we look forward to getting to know him better.