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Print! The renaissance of independent British magazines.


The exhibition 'Print! Tearing It Up' was an exhibition about British independent magazines that showcased in Somerset House from 8th June to the 22nd August 2018. This exhibition displayed a plethora of independent magazines and the often controversial topics that make their headlines. The beauty of independent magazines is that they highlight and exhibit issues that dominate the lives of groups of marginalised people. Magazines that focus on; feminism, LGBTQ+, race and class issues are all featured in these magazines and if this exhibition does anything, it overtly displays the often misrepresented parts of society and highlights the way that the mainstream media constructs an idea of what we should perceive as normal. These magazines that are 'fringe' or 'avant-garde' provide a perspective that offsets the online main-stream medias use of fear-mongering tactics to further the divide between groups of people. These magazines are not just for the voice of the marginalised, they are also an anti-thesis to the fear and hatred that saturates popular media. If we take into consideration the delicate political position of our present society, then it's no wonder that a renaissance of independent magazines has forged out of the mess of online news, where people feel that they don't know what is 'fake' and what is real. There are now stores that specialise in the selling of independent magazines, such as Magazine in Brighton. This shop has three times as many titles as when they first opened in 2015. Just from looking at their website you can see that the topics of these magazines (whether they're political or not) are being explored through the integration of an old form of media (magazines), with a new type of aesthetic, that mirrors new societal changes and developments in art and society. This combination of old and new allows for a type of progression. Using the format of a magazine helps the stories to feel more dependable than online publications yet the way that they are edited and presented gives the sense that these magazines are still relevant and cutting edge. The physicality of these magazines is important as well as it makes news and the other topics being explored, seem more tangible. This is perhaps part of the reason that newspapers are still a dominant source of news. A couple of years ago (and even now) the record player saw a renaissance, partly as a response to the domination of online streaming. Similarly, it seems that there is a greater demand for independent magazines now as people want a physical copy of something that they can read. They want physical publications of specific topics, which the writers are clearly passionate and knowledgeable about. People don't want magazines that are half filled with advertisements. Moreover, they don't want stories with distorted headlines that cater only for the shock factor. Independent magazines are removed from the many contentious issues that the media today presents and this is why they are so popular. Below i've listed and linked some of the magazines featured in the exhibition. I'd highly recommend checking them out.

*Private Eye

*The Happy Reader

* Weapons of Reason

*The Carton

*Accent Magazine

* i-D

*Little White Lies

* Gentle women

* Burnt Roti

* Stitch, Bitch!

* Sonshine

* Delayed Gratification

#Print #Art #Exhibition #SomersetHouse #BritishMagazines #Magazines