Issue 34 of the German type and design magazine Slanted deviates from its usual schedule. Instead of the issue being dedicated to a single city or country, this time its focus is Europe – Europe as a place, Europe as a concept.
No surprise then, that much of this issue is printed in shades of yellow and blue (although the cover leads with a sombre black). The blues are especially vibrant, printed in a special ink rather than CYMK. All my favourite works in this issue are the ones rendered in the special blue – Kata Moravszki and Mik Muhlen’s artworks about the goddess Europa are especially strong (above).
Over 300 artists, activists, designers and design collectives have contributed to this issue, each with a page to themselves. The results are as different as the sentiment is shared: some have done paintings, others have designed posters, or taken photographs.
There are even products (a tongue-in-cheek ‘Brexit survival kit’ by Karl Anders includes a medicine called ‘against wanderlust’, above), while Studio Najbrt has printed the lyrics to the ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe (below). There are even mini-essays and links to organisations that support migrants.
Adapted versions of the EU flag feature throughout – this match book cover by Mirko Borsche (above) brings us back to the heart of the matter.
While in the UK may be as divided as ever, the right to freedom of speech remains (no pun intended). What is fascinating about this issue is the variety of work from artists all over Europe, coming together to form a collective voice. It is a reminder that the conversation is not just limited to our island.
Despite the never-ending discourse that surrounds Brexit, the Europe issue of Slanted actually feels fresh. Maybe it’s the fact that it is a fascinating documentation of (one side of) contemporary politics – only this time seen through the eyes of artists, rather than journalists. Despite its inherently political leanings, it doesn’t feel polemical – instead this issue is a creative celebration of (according to the inside jacket) ‘Democracy, human dignity, freedom, peace and tolerance’.
Editor-in-chief and art director: Lars Harmsen
Managing editor: Julia Kahl
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