100 years of British independent magazines

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Coverage of independent magazines tends to get stuck on superficialities. When a story about independent publishing makes it into the mainstream press the tone is one of surprised encouragement: “Who knew young people are still interested in print? Here are 10 cool magazines to look at…”

Of course we want to see more people picking up independent magazines so these articles are always welcome, but there’s also a tinge of frustration at the missed opportunity – the chance to dig down and really understand what’s happening at the moment, what makes these magazines so special, and what led us here.

That’s why the exhibition on at Somerset House this summer is such a refreshing change. Looking back over 100 years of British independent publishing, Print! Tearing It Up begins from Blast, published in 1914, and traces the lines of influence that have led to the sort of titles we send out on Stack today. It’s packed full of brilliant magazines and the exhibition notes are littered with fascinating asides and tidbits, all carefully compiled by co-curators Paul Gorman and Claire Catterall.

I spoke to Paul earlier this week, and the podcast episode above is the recording from that conversation, recorded live at Somerset House on the last day of our Stack takeover of the exhibition. As you’d expect he’s full of stories and insights, and I hope you’ll enjoy his behind the scenes look at the process of creating the exhibition. (It’s on until 22 August, and well worth a visit if you get the opportunity.)

I’m off on holiday for a couple of weeks now, so this episode is a bit of a one-off, but we’ll be back with our regular weekly podcast episodes from late August, so if you’re not already following us, check us out on Soundcloud or iTunes and sign up there so we can send our next episodes straight to you as soon as they’re ready.

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