Between Borders is a new launch addressing contemporary Britishness. The first issue is themed ‘Transit’, and ‘offers a peek inside the rituals and relationships surrounding movement and travel, up and down the country’.
When I initially read a description of the magazine, I imagined that Between Borders would be more artisanal-looking, potentially employing Japanese binding or arriving in a box packed with vintage Ordnance Survey maps. In actuality, it’s design reminded me of those gig posters you see plastered on street corners – analogue photographs of unsmiling youths under big grey sans-serif typefaces, printed on matte paper. This is no bad thing – it made me realise that too often the concept of a magazine is too tightly bound up in its look, leading to cliched publications that fail to experiment.
In a recent episode of the Stack podcast, Hinson explained that the mag was born out of an online project that began in 2017, inspired by the suddenly palpable divisions in post-Brexit Britain. The idea was to ‘harness identity politics in a way that brings people together.’
Issue one does this by seeking to document how ‘despite our differences in age, ethnicity and ways of getting from A to B, what we have in common outweighs what divides us’. It follows then, that the ‘Transit’ theme provides the perfect opportunity to share stories of British people through their vehicles and journeys: from bus drivers in large cities (above), to teenagers in rural areas, handed the keys to the Honda Jazz for the first time (below).
It’s something we all experience: the ‘immeasurable time in our lives spent in the void between ‘here’ and ‘there’, from the daily commute, to travelling away days and catching the night bus home’. This ease of movement is currently being tested across the world by the coronavirus outbreak.
I love the captionless photographs of tube stations, taken by Emily Pearman (above) – surely the dirty tunnels and underpasses of the London Underground are the closest thing to no man’s land in such a well documented city. I also love the fact that every feature is printed with coordinates; I Googled the ones below Pearman’s images and found that the photographs were taken at the East Acton tube station (below).
We’ve seen the theme of borders crop up in the past, and every magazine takes a different approach. Having dedicated their whole mag to the concept, Between Borders have the upper hand here – it will be fascinating to see what they do next.
Editor: Luc Hinson
Designer: Tom Shotton
Buy a copy from the magCulture Shop