Page 23: ‘&’ #1, Sex & Politics

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&’ is a new magazine by Ava Williams and Kat Beckwith, who have recently graduated from The Glasgow School of Art. Having both studied Communication Design, ‘&’ is the perfect example of their course in motion, uniting thoughtful design with meaty writing.

The magazine’s aim is to bring together two topics that are not commonly seen side by side, in this case, sex and politics. The issue moves between both topics seamlessly, using personal writing, articles and opinion pieces, and interviews that appear in the form of folded booklets carefully tucked between its pages.

Page 23 falls on a timely opinion piece by Conrad Feather, entitled ‘Politics for everyone: Rethinking our democratic system’. In it, Feather muses on our cycle of scapegoating certain members of society, which he sees as the outcome of an apathetic political system that does little to unite us and draw us in. The piece is a manifesto of sorts, with Feather concluding that we must campaign for a civic education programme in schools, so that everyone can learn about politics. The page is cleverly designed to contrast the one opposite it; all content and page details are upside down on a clean white background. It is a striking call to arms, forcing us to flip the page to read the headline, and to pay attention.

Elsewhere, ‘&’ explores sexuality and representation in art, masturbation, and how clever design has lead to impactful protest campaigns. There is a wealth of thoughtful content here, the only downside being that sex and politics already feel quite intrinsically linked. Hopefully, as the magazine builds momentum, its editors will pair more surprising topics.

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