Fertility, anarchy and the ‘suicide slide’

The new issue of Riposte is here, packed with another selection of extraordinary women, unexpected connections and quiet reflections. This one comes with a selection of three alternative covers (see them above, featuring South African spinner Stacey-Lee May, legendary musician Calypso Rose, and the classic Riposte typography-only version) and we’re throwing a party to celebrate its arrival.

If you’re in town we’d love to see you this Thursday night (4 April) at the Ace Hotel London – RSVP to join us for free drinks, a look at the magazine and some chat with the Riposte team. There has also been talk of Riposte bingo, and while I don’t know exactly what that means, I do know I want to play.

But of course not everyone can come and have fun in London, so we’ve also asked editor Danielle Pender to pick out some of the stories she’s most excited about from this issue…

South Africa’s brightest burn-out

Spinning is a sport in South Africa where you drive your BMW round in insanely fast circles while doing tricks and stunts like climbing out of the window and standing on the car roof whilst it’s still in motion. It was illegal for years and has just recently become a recognised motor sport.

Stacey-Lee May is one of the youngest drivers and one of only a handful of women. I heard about her from a friend in South Africa and became obsessed with her. Her signature move is the suicide slide, where you lock your car in a spin and then hang out of the window holding onto the steering wheel by your feet.

We sent Kyle Weeks to photograph her in action at a driving range in Johannesburg and he captured some incredible shots that sit in the spotlight section in the middle of the issue.

One writer’s dysfunctional relationship with fertility

A lot of women spend their youth and 20s trying to avoid getting pregnant and then when we want to get pregnant we expect everything to kick into gear easily. Sadly, that isn’t how it works and if you’re in a lesbian relationship there’s an extra level of complication. This feature charts one writer’s journey to get pregnant with the help of a sperm bank and a supportive wife.

Former convicted anarchist Yukiko Ekida

Yukiko Ekida was part of a far-left terrorist group in Japan in the 1970s. She played a part in blowing up five buildings in Tokyo and then went on the run for 20 years. Charlotte Jansen interviewed her about her violent past, life on the run, the 15 years she eventually spent in prison and how she feels about her actions now as a 60-year-old woman. We don’t condone what Yukiko did but it felt important to explore female violence as it’s not something we often discuss or even feel comfortable acknowledging.

The history, and current relevance, of political satire

I think we can all agree we’re living in very surreal and frightening political times. Our writer L.A. Ronayne turned to the genius and wisdom of political satirists to pay tribute to their work, charting some of the history of political cartoons and looking at why those satirical cartoons are still relevant and how they manage to cut through the bullshit so effectively.

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