Migrant Journal, #1

Migrant Journal explores the circulation of people, goods, information and ‘even fauna and flora’ around the world and looks at the transformative impact they have on contemporary life.

Before I get into the magazine, here’s the important reason why it’s our magazine of the week… if not the month… if not the year:

If 2014 was a year of food magazines, 2015 a year of pet magazines, 2016 was a year of new feminist titles. The trend away from light-hearted themes towards more vigorous and politically motivated topics that Krass, Girls Like Us and Ladybeard have been exploring is encouraging weightier magazines to launch Kickstarter campaigns, of which Migrant Journal and The Real Review are two of the newest examples. 2017 should be the year of politically conscious independents, the year of magazines of resistance.

During a week when the restrictive and harmful impact of blinkered social media news feeds is more evident than ever, Migrant Journal points to the possibility that print can provide by putting readers in contact with viewpoints outside of cushioned, personalised streams.


There’s another possibility for independent magazines that hasn’t been explored to a wide-extent within the scene yet: we need to start thinking about the way titles can be distributed to a variety of different groups and readers in a way that social media doesn’t currently allow for. Let’s consider how the titles we create can move beyond networks of like-minded individuals. Migrant Journal is our choice this week because it gestures towards the fact that print can circulate ideas across and outside of our self-imposed, online borders. It can circulate opinion, information and all-important fact in spaces far out of reach from dangerous cooperate interests.


Migrant Journal plan a limited six-issue run and each edition will take a different theme related to migration as its starting point. Issue one looks at the spaces beyond the city through essays and reports; it explores what’s happening in the countryside, from the rural exodus in Japan to the shifting glaciers in the alps to undocumented spaces that migrants move through in Mexico.


Its a magazine about migration but also globalisation – for example, there’s a map showing how the UK gets its electricity from other countries. Its not just people, or even goods, that are in circulation. It’s energy, the Internet, the cables that flow. By emphasising this, Migrant Journal asks a political question: if we build a wall to prevent migration, are we to cut cords too?


The theme of ‘Across Country’ is timely; the editors consider the current refugee crisis in Europe and how it’s brought the countryside to attention. Syrians fleeing the war via Turkey and Greece move across the fields and landscapes of Europe, and as the editors note, ‘the forgotten rural land is the stage of our present migration tragedy, not the cities.’


An atlas-like design gives the publication a sense of authority; its sturdy weight, vivid infographics and use of intricate, detailed maps assert a smart tone. It’s a confident design by Isabel Seiffert and Christoph Miler; the metallic bronze spot colour used throughout conjure dirt and earth, and the custom typeface (by Offshore studio) articulates transformation through its combination of sharp corners and curving forms.

The strength of the words is conveyed through mature design, which is in contrast to a title like Weapons of Reasons where the force of the editorial can be undermined by its sometime coy visual elements. The politically motivated magazines of next year will use editorial design for asserting power and clarity.

Migrant Journal is vigorously intelligent in the way it circulates ideas about the circulation of people and information today.

Editors: Catarina de Almeida Brito and Justinien Tribillon
Art direction: Isabel Seiffert, Christoph Miler


Meet… Put A Egg On It, 10.11.16

Last week we welcomed Ralph McGinnis of Brooklyn-based Put A Egg On It to the magCulture Shop for our latest magCulture Meets night. You can hear him talking about their latest issues — in the UK that’s no12, while back home in the US they’re already up to no13.


Ralph discusses the background to the magazine, with contributions from co-founder Sarah Keough, and goes on to share his concerns about the increasingly corporate nature of some indie magazines.


We’re grateful to Park Communications for their support of magCulture Meets

magCulture meets Intern

The 13th edition of magCulture Meets sees Alec Dudson introduce the long-awaited fourth issue of his magazine Intern.

The publication supports young artists and designers, stimulating debate around the issue of interning in the creative industries. This new issue focuses on career paths, with advice from an international array of industry leaders. Alec will talk us through the new issue, and will be joined by photographer Kelia Anne MacCluskey, who shot the latest front cover (above).

Thursday 1 December, 18.30 to 21.00pm

Book your ticket

magCulture Shop
270 St John Street
London EC1V 4PE

Doors opens at 6.30pm and the talk will kick off at 7pm.

magCulture Meets… is a monthly talk series. Each evening will provide the opportunity to share a beer with fellow magCulturalists and hear a magazine-maker discuss their project in an informal, relaxed atmosphere.

We’re grateful to Park Communications for their support of magCulture Meets

Felicia Pennant, Season

We’re kicking off the work week with Felicia Pennant, editor-in-chief of female footy mag Season. Issue one was received with a cheer and it looks as if issue two is set to win another victory. We catch up with Felicia as the new issue is published

How was your weekend?
Busy! Did my hair which is a two day job – a Friday night in taking out my braids and washing my hair and then it was bright and early at my hairdressers on Saturday for a six hour stint in the chair. Then separate catch-ups with two of my favourite people: Saturday night drinks and a Sunday roast. In between Season stuff of course – sorting orders, invoices and making arrangements for our issue two party on 23 November at Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes in London.


Tell us about your journey to work.
Season zine is my side project – a labour of love – and my journey to my full time fashion job is thankfully short: 20 mins door to door on a great day without delays. I live beside Clapham Junction station so I’ve perfected my walk/sprint to platforms 16/1 to catch the train just in time. As it can be so squashed, I don’t read newspapers/ magazines on there but my horoscope via my phone instead. I listen to talkSPORT at work so no headphones before then and I go past Stamford Bridge – the home of my team Chelsea FC – every day which makes the route slightly better.


Describe the state of your desk.
I don’t have one! I actually work on the big brown sofa in my living room with my iPad nearby playing the radio – ideally a match – wrapped in the Chelsea FC blanket my Dad got me one Christmas. I have magazines and books nearby for reference and I’m a list maker so I have one handwritten and one on my phone to follow every day. Season zine one and two are boxed nearby with envelopes so I can pack orders to send out asap.


Which magazine do you first remember?
Gosh Mizz I think it was called. One of those now defunct teen magazines I read when I was about 12 that had boy advice and ‘fashion’ tips. I was more of a bookworm then and didn’t discover British Vogue and Elle until a year later when I asked my Dad to send me them in a care package at boarding school. He duly obliged and I was hooked to fashion.


Which magazine matters to you the most today?
Apart from my own… probably a weekly like ES Magazine, Stylist or Sport as they share what is currently or becoming mainstream. They can react to and explore issues in print more immediately than a monthly and in a more considered way than online. That being said, The Gentlewoman has been an inspiration and is my favourite overall. Meaningful content, a great aesthetic and it manages to both tap into and transcends pop culture expertly.


Which female football player matters to you the most today?
Eni Aluko. She’s Nigerian like me (I’m half), a qualified sports and entertainment lawyer with her own sports career consultancy on the side, who continues to kill it for Chelsea Ladies and England. She’s also a rare female presence on Match of the Day Extra which I watch religiously. I listen to and read a lot of football analysis and she adds a fresh point of view.


The first issue of Season was extremely well received and popular. Did you expect it?
Absolutely not. When you’re trying to do something different, there’s always a chance that people won’t get it or like it so the positive response has been incredible and mind-blowing. The press mentions, the social media shoutouts and we’ve quadruped our still small print run. Personal highlights include our issue one launch exhibition and party at KK Outlet and appearing on Norman B’s Life Elsewhere radio show in Florida. It’s very exciting to reach new audiences via new stockists like Colette and American Apparel. We’ve had website orders from as far flung as New Zealand and Tokyo.

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Have you developed with the second issue or did you stick with what worked?
We’ve tried to do a bit of both. My intention is to make each issue bigger and better and I think you can see the progression most obviously in the great design job Natalie Doto did. We have a foil logo, more colour and more pages. Content is largely the same: insightful interviews, candid essays, inspirational shoots and thoughtful features connected to the Paris theme with a sense of humour. This was a more ambitious undertaking because I stayed in the city for a week during Euro 2016 to gather and shoot the majority of the issue. We have one more editorial, some amazing new writers and contributors on board- shout out to photographer Fee-Gloria Groenemeyer who shot most of the issue- so we’re getting there.

season_issue-2_aw15-writer-valentine-cinier-photographer-fee-gloria-groenemeyerPick a spread from the new issue and tell us what it says about your magazine.
One thing that came up when making issue two was how little I knew about French football beyond PSG’s dominance. I had never heard of Red Star FC before I spoke to female fans in Paris and when I found out about Pauline Gamerre- their General Director and the only women to hold the post in French football – I was determined to feature her. The spread represents our dedication to enlightening and empowering our audience as much as we can.


What are you finding most frustrating about your work this week?
Not being able to follow up Season emails straight away. I can only check emails before work, in my lunch hour and after work at six which can cause timing issues. Or people not replying at all so I have to ring them to follow up.

What’s going to be the highlight of this week for you?
I’m going to the Black and British 1Xtra talk with my sister which I’m really excited about. It will be interesting to see what points are raised and whether any of them are relevant to Season.


What will you be doing after this chat?
Getting straight back into issue two party mode. We’ll be screening Arsenal’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain from 7:30pm, which aligns nicely with our Paris issue theme. Afterwards there will be DJ sets from two of the hottest female DJs around K2RAH and DJ Gin until 1am. Thanks so much to Zlatan Ibrahimović Perfumes and Lack of Guidance for contributing to the event and we hope everyone can make it. Please RSVP: seasonzine01@gmail.com


Thomas Hedger, illustrator

We met illustrator Thomas Hedger a couple weeks ago at ModMag16. A long-time fan of his work, I had no idea that Thomas is currently studying graphic design at Central Saint Martins; his client list is impressive for anyone let alone a student, and includes The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Telegraph, Creative Review and The Guardian.

This morning we stopped by Thomas’ home (the most modern house boat we’ve ever seen!) to have a browse through his magazine collection.


As always, we asked Thomas to select a favourite old issue, new issue and one more thing.


An old issue: Juxtapoz
It has to be Juxtapoz for this one.

Ordering it in to my local WH Smiths in the sleepy suburbs just outside London was a ritual for me throughout my teens. The anxious rush to get there before someone else decided to impulse buy it – my copy – was something that concerned my weekends -and there were a few disappointing times… In a world where the internet turned off after homework time, Juxtapoz allowed me an insight into the creative world that I would lap up from cover to cover.

It was a sofa jumping moment when I discovered that my illustrations had made their way onto their blog last year. Unfortunately I don’t have all of my old collection but a fair few have managed to stay with me. My favourite cover of these is from one of the last copies I picked up online in June 2010, after my Juxtapoz buying days had slumped, from the one and only, Keith Haring.


A new issue: ToiletPaper
ToiletPaper is disgustingly sexy, juicy and surreally charming. It makes me feel a bit sweaty – in a good way. I don’t knew if I should laugh or cry, like it or loath it but I just can’t take my eyes off it.

I love that I can’t predict what’s coming on the next page and how it continues to surprise, question and shock. Everything looks like it’s been sun tanned, with colours popping at every turn and the paper stock really sets it off. I want them all.


And another thing: Grafters Quarterly
I was handed a copy of Grafters Quarterly at the London Book Fair last year; issue three, Social Thing Person. It was going to be my something different purely for the fact that it came in a plastic wallet with a plant cutting but after consideration it has to be because of the content. It’s absolutely packed with written content that I can’t pretend to truly get my head around. It’s captivating and thought provoking – well worth a read.


AG (Architektur in Gebrauch)

Some of the most aesthetically and editorially innovative publications that we’ve been receiving this past year have been themed around architecture – London-based Bricks of the Kiln and The Real Review are two potent examples. AG (Architektur in Gebrauch, Architecture in Use) is the latest architecture magazine to come to our attention: it’s now onto its sixth issue, it has a pleasingly simple concept and it hails from Berlin.

Instead of looking at space historically, AG chooses a different piece of architecture for each issue and observes it from the perspective of its present state. It does this to counter the pervasive approach found in architecture journals where “photographs capturing the moment of completion become the only instance of authority and the most influential moment”. I’ve noticed a rejection of this underpinning a lot of architectural editorial recently; the most striking example being the OMA website, where content is randomly collated from social media so that instead of slick images of the completed product you have images of architecture as seen by the people who live it.


We were sent issues three, four, five and six (top) – the aesthetic is obviously clear and to-the-point. At first I wasn’t convinced by the logo, but on second thoughts, the shadow of the blocky text is well-suited to the magazine’s concept and the idea of not exploring the shining surface of an architect’s vision but the shadowy existence of a space, with all of its traces and lived experience. Issue four (above and below) is themed around Berlin’s Tiergarten – the writing takes shape as a list of observed details, from a wild boar to the water springs running through the park to the heroic historical monuments that scatter the space in abundance (also below).

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New issue 6 looks at House Jumsai, designed by Thailand’s Sumet Jumsai. The approach of the magazine is less personal but still compelling – it documents the last days of the penthouse and is largely photographic (below).

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Issue three explores the Mancunian Way that runs through Manchester (below). It begins with with an interview with Richard Brook, Senior Lecturer at Manchester School of Architecture, and then finishes with a chunk of photocopied pages from J. G. Ballard’s ‘Concrete Island’ (also below).

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Every issue of AG is born from the same philosophy, but then the space that’s being observed dictates the overall approach. Each issue also then exists as a single publication in its own right, something I find particularly engaging.