Out now: Barter, Baby

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We’ve seen a few zines borne of the pandemic and lockdown but my favourite to date is this one from London photographer Louise Hagger and New York food stylist Victoria Granof.

The story of the last six months can’t possibly be summed up in a single publication, let alone a 32-page zine. Instead, Barter, Baby reflects one tiny, specific part of the Covid experience. Through a series of bartar transactions, it reflects the experience of those whose lives have been disrupted – rather than devestated – by the lockdown.

Hagger and Granof were due to be in New York collaborating in April, but with that cancelled they devised the virtual barter process during a Facetime call, sharing images online. The opening spread of the zine sets the context with a brief history of bartering alongside personal observation, ‘Did you ever that that in 2020 we’d be standing in line for toilet paper and flour?’

Full page images of bartered goods tell the story of the project, with pages of information scattered throughout that will be familiar to all: how to bake sourdough and make your own yogurt, recipes for soup, hand sanitizer and other home made delights.

Texts through out are split between two typefaces, emphasising the two-way conversation of the whole.

Barter, Baby is as spare as it sounds; this is not a blockbuster revelation of a publication, but a beautifuly simple record of the early days of lockdown.

Design: Owen Evans


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