“How long can you last without looking at your phone?”

by Kitty Drake in July 2020
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Art & design Music

Year Zero is a beautifully produced music and fashion magazine published out of Istanbul. Entirely bilingual, everything is printed in both English and Turkish, and the tone is immediate. In the opening pages, a series of artists are briefly interviewed, the questions deliberately off the cuff: “What’s your secret talent?… how long can you last without looking at your phone?”

The idea behind the magazine is to focus on global subcultures, and the central feature in this second issue tells the story of the ‘Palestine Underground’; a burgeoning house, techno and hip hop scene in Palestine. The artists speak, in fascinating detail, about the geographical divides imposed by Israeli occupation, and the psychological impact of crossing between borders. Another great piece looks at counterfeit culture in India, with a run of brilliantly gaudy photographs of fake handbags and hoodies and shoes.

Occasionally, Year Zero can become a little commercial. A beautiful collection of photographs of Bosphorus, the world’s narrowest natural strait, is spoiled when you realise the whole thing has been sponsored by Nike. But overall, this is inventive, eclectic magazine-making. One of the last pieces in the issue is about “post-operation enlightenment”: gruesome, CGI images of the artist Gizem Erhan, injecting what looks like blood into her own face.


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