Print! Tearing It Up: Clove at London's Somerset House

Print! Tearing It Up. Courtesy of Somerset House.

Ever since the early 20th century, several independent print magazines in Britain have challenged mainstream representation, from political satires to radical feminist publications. Titles such as BLAST, a journal first produced in June 1914, are examples of the culture of activism and dissent that lay at the heart of independent publishing in these early days.

The subsequent decades saw a number of other powerful innovators emerge, from Private Eye, first published in the early 1960s and still Britain’s best-selling current affairs magazine, to 1980’s The Face, which is thought to have begun the ‘lifestyle’ magazine trend and paved a pathway for magazines such as i-D, a bimonthly publication covering contemporary youth culture. The debate surrounding gender and sexuality has been spearheaded by publications like Spare Rib, the seminal feminist magazine founded in the 1970s, and gal-dem, a publication by, for and about women of colour.

Courtesy of Somerset House.

A theme that resonates throughout the  ‘Print! Tearing It Up’ exhibition at Somerset House is a rise in innovative print magazines in response to lack of representation in the mainstream media. Clove is thrilled to have its inaugural issue (available here) featured in this group, alongside other contemporary magazines exploring representation of identity and culture in varying styles, such as Consented, Positive News, and Thiiird.

The exhibition commences with a video on the process behind indy magazine publishing, from creative and concept to printing and distribution. It reminds us of the value of taking the time to create a physical object. Some say that media publishing has lost this value in the digital era of online news – however, the thriving and varied contemporary magazine scene showcased in the exhibition certainly challenges any notion that print is dying.

Courtesy of Somerset House.

Print! Tearing It Up is at Somerset House, 8 June – 22 August 2018, featuring Issue 01 of Clove