With the blog for Elsewhere: A Journal of Place, we want to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves, tell you a little bit more about the project, what we have done so far and what you can expect in the months leading up to the launch of our first print issue in June 2015.
Who are we?
The co-founders of the journal are Julia Stone and Paul Scraton. Both are based in Berlin, Germany, although they were born elsewhere… Julia in Bangkok, Thailand, Paul in Ormskirk, northern England. Over the past couple of years we have worked together on a number of different projects, and we often talked about launching our own project together that would explore our interests in travel and place, and at the end of the summer 2014 we were ready to begin.
The literature of place is many and varied. Within the pages of the journal we will publish involved and intelligent writing, whether from travel writers or local ramblers, deep topographers or psychogeographers, overland wanderers or edgeland explorers.
This might include drifting excursions through city suburbs and journeys on foot along the ancient old ways; written sketches of airports and market squares, forests and riverbanks; the legends that linger on mountainsides and the folklore of the flatlands; the everyday realities of island communities and the streetlife of city neighbourhoods.
We will also feature interviews with those for whom place is central to their work, whether photographers, artists or filmmakers, craftspeople, historians or musicians. And we also have space for those places that exist only in our heads – whether lost but remembered, or imagined and invented.
Some of the writers who have inspired this project include Jan Morris, Rebecca Solnit, W.G. Sebald, Julian Hoffman, Frederic Gros, Joseph Roth, Iain Sinclair, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, Kathleen Jamie, Max Egremont, Robert Macfarlane, Gareth Rees, Colin Thubron, Paul Theroux, Franz Hessel… (among many, many more).
As writers, photographers, designers and - most of all - readers, we are both sure that there is a place for print and paper in this increasingly digital world of ours. We think the experience of reading a book or a magazine on paper is still different, and has a value worth preserving. We want to publish work that is considered, intelligent and which deserves people’s attention. We also like to touch paper and spent quite a lot of time rubbing samples together between our fingers to decide how we want our journal to feel.
We also think this internet that you are reading us on right now has - for all the difficulties of copyright, piracy and other issues that have impacted on writers, artists, photographers and musicians and how they get paid for their work - opened up many possibilities. We are pretty sure that without the chance to build a community through the internet we would never get this project off the ground.
What have we done so far?
Aside from visiting printers here in Berlin to make choices about paper stock and to find a partner to work with long term, we have been working on a digital-only sample issue which we will release in the new year. Although the journal is (at this time) envisaged as a print-only product, we wanted to give people the chance to get an idea of what to expect through a small sample, easily accessed.
This will also help to inform potential contributors, and we have been working on the submission guidelines as well as working on content for the website and the blog, and making the first steps to spreading the word about the journal far and wide.
In the next six months, as we move towards the launch of the first issue in June 2015 we will be working on the following:
- The release of the sample issue
- Finding and working with contributors to produce the first print edition
- Begin to commission writers for future editions (September and December 2015)
- Work on the crowd-funding campaign to help finance the project (more on this coming soon on the blog)
Here on the blog and through our social media channels we will keep you informed about the project, as well as presenting writing and photography that interests us and other place-related books, exhibitions, events and more that has caught our eye.
What you can do…
If you think that our journal sounds like something you would like to read, please follow us on facebook and twitter, and sign up for our information newsletter here on the website. We promise we will not overload you with emails, rather we will simply let you know when certain major moments are upon us - such as the launch of the sample issue, the start of the crowdfunding campaign and, of course, the launch of issue one in early summer 2015.
We are really excited about our journal, and we are sure we can build a community of readers, writers, photographers and illustrators that will keep the project moving forward. We really hope you will join us.
Paul Scraton and Julia Stone
Berlin, December 2014