Amid the ever-evolving digital revolution and endless declarations that “print is a dying art form”, a fresh crop of independent magazines have flourished in recent years, winning over readers with their tactile allure and dynamic design. By distancing themselves from the pressures of the 24-hour news cycle, these publications are able to examine important cultural and political issues in greater depth, and from unexplored perspectives.
Now, a new exhibition at London’s Somerset House, titled Print! Tearing It Up, gives visitors the chance to discover “the history and impact of the British independent magazine scene”, shining a light on the medium’s subversive past and most important publications to date, as well as showcasing the most enticing new offerings currently blazing a paper trail. Here, we take a look at five of the most game-changing contemporary titles on display for your browsing inspiration.
Launched in 2015, Ladybeard is an independent magazine that devotes itself to subjects frequently overlooked and misrepresented in the mainstream media, opening up frank discussions surrounding a particular theme each issue. With the current edition, titled ‘Beauty’, more than a hundred contributors “disrupt the ideal” by taking an honest look at beauty standards and redefining the notion of “ugliness”.
Taking contemporary architecture as its focus, and working under the maxim of “What it means to live today”, Real Review reinvigorates cultural criticism for the 21st century. Moving away from a dry, academic style, editor and architect Jack Self brings together ingenious design and cutting-edge journalism to create truly modern publication.
A beacon of intelligent journalism and on-point feminist critique, gal-dem has quickly established itself as one of the leading voices in independent publishing. Comprising a collective of more than 70y women and non-binary people of colour, the magazine has recently released its second edition, which features South London musician Ray BLK on its cover.
As populations continue to increase at an alarming rate in urban spaces, Eyesore hones in on the built-up environment to document how cities across the globe are changing and developing. Examining how architecture dialogues with a city’s inhabitants, the publication seeks to redefine our relationship to space and place in order to encourage its readers to engage critically with their surroundings.
A fashion and culture magazine driven by intersectional feminist values, Thiiird is a celebration of diversity, culture and heritage. The editorial team’s disparate creative backgrounds are unified through the collective experience of growing up as “third culture kids’, a perspective which informs the publication’s innovative approach.
Print! Tearing It Up is at Somerset House until August 22, 2018.