NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2012.
For a lot of people Libya is an exciting place with a lot of shit going on. To an extent this perception can be said to be true, however it remains that Libya is still just another country with a nation of people just trying to survive and get by. If you visit Libya, there is a fair chance that you will experience a lot of those cliches that are thrown about when speaking about Arab states. It is also likely that nothing particularly unusual will happen, that you will not see a the fighting that is brought up in the news, you won’t see life as it is lived on the fringes of Libyan society, and you will be shown the things that Libyans are typically proud of. Oh, you will probably also end up drinking a lot of coffee.
The little image above was actually taken towards the end of my brief stay in Libya and was when I had began to go out a little more freely. When I first arrived the image that I had of Tripoli was not very positive. Whilst I would be lying if I left Libya with a positive impression of the situation, as time passed I began to spend more time exploring the city which was a valuable exercise and developed my initial impression of life in Libya dramatically.
Keeping an open mind, a fresh perspective in a new location, is always good though it is often immediately blinding. It can mean appreciating the beautiful sides whilst not really understanding the scale of the problems right in front of you. It was late in October when we went for a picnic at sunset along Triq Shott, the coastal road. This was interesting because on the one side was the sea, a strip of coast and litter, then on the other lay two three lane roads of traffic that was being monitored by rebel officers at the traffic lights. We were a group of five, having a picnic on the lane of grass between coast and road. Apart from one, we were all Europeans and the conversation kept returning to the various experiences that one or another of the Europeans had been through towards the end of the revolution. There was also some talk of friends being mugged on the public buses. I had just arrived so I didn’t have a story to share. It was the first and last time we did something like this.
I used this image in a post before but I thought I would bring it up again because I didn’t mention that I was in a car with three other Libyans and when they drove past these rebels they were really excited to find out who these troops were. Particularly they were curious to discover whether they were American troops. It turned out they were rebels in uniform when we spoke to them and they were performing one of the many routine road checks that are made in an attempt to find war criminals who might be trying to travel around the city.
I wanted to add this photo to quickly make a comment about the rapid changes that were happening in and around the suburban areas that I visited. Housing projects, extensions, shops with one, two, three new floors growing out from the tops of old and established buildings. Either the government was easing laws on building development or businesses were were taking advantage of the fact that there would no-one enforcing development laws.
The Gharyan mountains are home to a number of interesting things including a number of underground cave homes. There are a number of renovated and modernised homes that can be found in the mountains though there are also many that have been neglected or used in a less interesting fashion. I was shown this example of a home early in November. It was a family property but the elders of the family didn’t want to do anything with the space. Actually if anything, they wanted to use it as a tip for rubbish that they would be able to fill in at a later date. For the time being though, they use it to host chickens.
It would be possible to renovate the property, one of the younger members of the family, they guy showing me around, was keen to suggest that they renovate the space in a similar way to how another family in the area had done so. I had found the space interesting but it would need a lot of time and effort to convert it into something safe to live in again.
This church was actually in a really beautiful location though it would be impractical to run a business being so far away from the main city. There was a little graffiti and a lot of bird poo. There were some really beautiful bathrooms however the photos didn’t come out well. Instead there are these images of the central space instead.
The trip to Sabratha proved the city ruins themselves to be more interesting than those of Leptis Magna which is the larger ruin near Tripoli. The reason for this was that Sabratha proved to have more little quirks than its larger sibling, including the fragment of a sculpture and the train tracks that were neglected by the Libyans and left by the Italians. Curiously, my Libyan companions assuredly told me that the tracks were Roman. Though this was questionable information, I trusted them when they told me that many of the sculptures had been stolen and that the mosaics were being continually reduced in number as tourists pick at them and take pieces as keepsakes.
We almost didn’t get to see these ruins because I didn’t have a copy of my passport with me. The security guard told us that he couldn’t let us in, however, the country being in the state that it is/was in he was persuaded that it is better to let the western foreigner in. The logic is still kind of lost on me although I understand that there is a sense racial prejudice at play.
The apartment that I stayed in was actually sandwiched between two fairly slummy patches of ground. Both the front and the back of the house had been cleared in preparation for a building project that had been due to take place prior to the revolution. Of course now all the international building contractors had left the country and the government projects had to be reviewed by the new government before anything could begin again. Behind the strip of garages and houses that I was living on grew another strip of illegal quick build properties. Almost all of these were garages and homes for the people working in the garages. They couldn’t have been there long but they had fairly continuous business.
The wasteland was occupied by a large number of cats and dogs and also a considerable number of rats. On the first night I went shopping, amongst my purchases were tomatoes. I decided to keep my vegetables outside and this is when I learned my first lesson about rats. They love tomatoes. I woke up late at night to see 8 or so grey blobs moving in the dark on the balcony. I was utterly confused as I went outside to investigate, the roundish blobs scattered across the balcony made no sense to my sleepy head. Picking one up I realised that they were my tomatoes that were on the floor and they had all been nibbled! I had to discard all my vegetables and I made note not to do the same thing again.
A few weeks later I had convinced myself that the rats would not be able to get onto the balcony. I had blocked the drain with a heavy sheet of glass. My belief was shattered when I saw one of the big black creatures scale the wall next to the balcony. No relief.
Mego was my host in Libya, he was also a kind of employer, he paid me £150 a month to work in his office for 8+ hours a day 6 days a week. He also covered my rent and told me that I was useless every now and again. Not the most motivational employer, and humorously demanding considering the pay he offered. However whilst appearing quite exploitative he had a curious side to him. He actively supported what I perceived to be a genuinely valuable form of social development, creating proposals to help draw attention to problem areas in contemporary Libyan society such as the elevated sense of community division that had resulted from the revolution. He also represented a Libyan women’s rights group in international news and had connections with a number of other proactive and important groups working with the community. Whilst we didn’t exactly see eye to eye, and neither did our business end well, I would have to applaud his human rights projects and I hope that he can lead some to fruition.
I have digressed from the photograph and another really important point of interest. The car crash could have been anyone’s fault. A truck passed us at the traffic lights, one or other vehicle was moving to one side, possibly us, maybe them, and we struck. The damage sounded bad but was minor. We lost a wing mirror. A long and heated argument ensued wherein both drivers of both vehicles argued innocence for themselves and accused the other of dangerous and negligent driving. The fact remained that only Mego’s car was damaged. After a while the tone changed, the driver from the other vehicle was making sure that Mego had his details in case he wanted money to have it fixed. Then the conversation flipped, both drivers were mildly accepting that they could have been to blame, the truck driver can cover it, he is sorry, Mego is denying the offer, life has to go on, everyone shakes hands and we go on our way. I often saw incidents like this where dangerous driving, or EXTREMELY dangerous driving, leads to an argument and then an amicable hand shake. It’s how things roll in Tripoli.
Tripoli has some peculiar things about it that don’t really sound like they make much sense. It is a capital city yet it is very quiet. There is a central square where protests happen (Martyr Square), where children rollerblade and skate (often holding onto cars and trailing behind them), where adults perform on motorbikes, swirling donuts, pulling wheelies, drifting and sustaining endo’s. I kept the picture of the bench in case someone asked whether they had public seating. I quite liked the orange rope.
Libyan’s often joke that if a Westerner comes to Libya, if he wants to survive he should avoid the Bazin. The joke refers to Christopher Steven’s, the American Ambassador, who purportedly ate Bazin shortly before he was killed during an attack on the American Embassy September 2012. It’s actually pretty tasty and really messy because you eat it with your hands. There is a breakfast that is made with the same kind of flour. My housemates had the breakfast with figs and olive oil. I would recommend both, though it might take some getting used to.
The thing about alcohol in Libya is that people either have to make it themselves or else buy it on the black market. This means going to a particular part of town or buying from a contact that was accrued along the way. Nearby to where I lived in Fallh, there was a booth that I always should have photographed though never did. This little shack was about the size of two telephone booths and had Bob Marley painted on one side. It was a place to buy hashish or cigarettes. The alcohol in this image is fairly typical, it is kept in a water bottle for the reason that water bottles are inconspicuous and can be sold, brought, and carried practically everywhere. The only problem is that no-one can tell you that much about what you are actually drinking, where it came from, or how it was made. It doesn’t taste good.
Before the Libyan Experience, I had long believed that the British had contributed to the Maltese cuisine and in particular caused the thick hard pastries to exist there. The long and clearly influential relationship that Libya and Malta has had became very clear after living in Libya for two months. I note that it is not only the pastry but also the slang that is used in both countries.
The bride has her own chair. Well actually she has her own party, all girls, no guys at all. Whilst the girls party hard, and flirt around with, well with each other. The guys have their own party somewhere else. Bizarrely, the rule determining that women and men do not met strangers of the opposite sex with the household is extended during the wedding ceremony to procedures throughout the wedding ceremony. There can be no congratulating both the bride and groom, you can choose one and, whats more, you only make a predetermined and engendered decision on this.
It is important to note that the wedding party can be intensely emotional. Family members and even friends might be saying congratulations and goodbye to a bride if her groom lives outside of the city or else with a particularly protective husband. In this case, one of her brothers cried as he stated “he is stealing her”. She was driven a few hours out into the countryside to the house where we as guests took a tea and a biscuit and the groom fired a few rounds off his M16 into the sky. “Its stupid and dangerous” the grooms father tells me rolling his eyes at the sound of the gun. His English is really good, he used to work for a British oil company but has been retired from the oil business 8 years ago. “We couldn’t celebrate like this under Gaddafi”, he adds, “now people are letting themselves go a bit.”
Leptis Magna is the biggest of the two roman sites outside of Tripoli. Unfortunately many of the sculptures have been stolen which is a great shame. However the site is still spectacular, the main gate is perhaps the highlight though with its ornate decoration. I would have liked to have explored for longer but there was not enough time to linger for long.
Well I have added this last set of photographs in a weird order but they are basically what I called home for two months. The bedroom was good except the electricity was faulty and for the last month the lighting simply strobed and as such it was better to leave it off. Then the plugs began to stop working reliably, occasionally stopping then working again later in the day. The fridge turned out to be a freezer and wasn’t really good for fruit, vegetables, cheese and milk. The toilet seats were non-existent which and their absence was always a bit of a downer; cold, wet ceramic isn’t a winner. For some reason soap was a funny issue. Some of my housemates seemed to use washing detergent, the kind for clothes, as soap… I am not sure why I added that, its more so I don’t forget the small things. I think.
Anyway, the guys only ate one dish, Macaroona, so the oven was used for storage and the fridge contained the other three ingredients; oil, tomato paste, and chilli. As a friend once said when he visited me in my room, “You are living the simple but good life.”
Revolution as creative expression, facing up to an identity crisis & the shortfalls of Western cultural initiatives. The purpose of this text is to describe the social conditions prevalent in Libya today that might affect the development of indigenous creative enterprises and affect the effectiveness of Western initiatives. These reflections and conclusions focus on what is happening in Tripoli and are written following empirical research made whilst living in Tripoli towards the end of 2012.(2873 words)
A walk through the streets of Tripoli reveals large quantities of graffiti, not just tags, but real artworks. Satirical depictions of the deceased Muammar Gaddafi and large scale murals, visual testaments to the creative energy that was channeled into the Libyan revolution. On the one hand destructive, the revolution has manifested itself as an important expression of creativity. However now, whilst the revolution has shaken loose some of the rules that once screwed people down, it is one year on and Libya is still a country with an uncertain future.
In Libya’s intense environment, cars pack four abreast along two lane roads taking red and green lights with a delayed sense of distinction and regularly playing host to speeding, drifting, male drivers. The roads incite a particular sense of disorganised order that reappears in different forms elsewhere in the community. In addition to this apparently chaotic order, persist other older and more established orders. Specifically, social codes of conduct and of respectable appearances that live on in the way that the people interact and present themselves.
Libyans often state that prior to the revolution people had simply wanted to survive and Libyan culture had few other imperatives. I spoke to a number of medical students from the University of Tripoli who had been involved in the conflict, they voiced their opinions to me. One young man stated, “most people, working people, want to be able to have a job so they can look after their family and have enough money to spend time with them.” Another told me that people have always wanted security and that now “they want to go back to how it should be [without the corruption or coercion], the government has to provide this.” Due to Gaddafi’s reputation for harsh punishment and the notoriety of the regime’s corruption, Libyan civilians were obliged to sacrifice their freedoms of expression in exchange for social security and safety. Things such as cultural heritage, music and the arts, were not preserved, were often specifically targeted for repression, and were not considered valuable. The cultural identity of the nation was consequently downtrodden.
In support of the revolution came not only the military support of American, French, Italian and British nations, but also their cultural initiatives. Each Western nation has projects that encourage western values in Libya. On the one hand these nations wish to be pioneers of cultural ideas whilst on the other hand needing to be held highly for the purposes of making business deals. Western nations need to enter the country to work there, to be able to work effectively, and especially to take the best gains possible from Libya as an oil rich country.
Concurring with a notion of cultural virginity being imposed on the country, Libya is being introduced to cultural initiatives by foreign nations that intend to shape it’s developing cultural identity. Such initiatives include radio sponsorship to play American popular music where previously stations played arabic music, consistent with indigenous interests and identity. In many regards this cultural change is neither subtle nor considerate, and, whilst many people want to work with and be able to access Western culture, the sudden change in radio transmissions is counter-posed to public interest. The average Libyan is unsure of how to react, though curiously many of the young people whom I spoke to are offended, stating that the conflict did not take place so that western nations could subvert it to their own agendas. Adding that they speak Arabic, why is the music on the radio in English?
In another instance, an esoteric public video art exhibition was put on by the British Council in November, 2012, and it was received in a similar way and with a curious negative repercussion. To be precise, Western video art and American Pop songs are just two protagonists evincing local beliefs that Libyans live in a cultural void with neither culture nor identity to call one’s own. In response to a realised identity crisis alongside the fractured state of the community, the National Ministry of Culture is consciously encouraging a raised awareness of cultural heritage, the social divisions in society, and a freedom of press. Their hope is that the people of Libya can nurture a nationalist sentiment and identity that will incite a sense of unity, will solve existing social problems, and will restore faith in the media industry. A faith in the media would allow Libyans to identify with the news that is in it. However these ideals exist only as words and intentions. The priority for the government at this moment in time is to restore the country’s well mediated lack of social-security.
The Libyans I lived with often expressed a sense of missing national identity, asking “what do we have?” Listing such things that the “world outside has,” as national music, theatre, dance, and even technology, photography or media representation. The feeling of being characterless or indistinct is unforgiving and adds to a dangerous lack of faith in government that has accrued following it’s slow progress in restoring social order. Perhaps importantly, these feelings also seemed to be confused with being culture-less. At any rate many civilians have carried forward a pessimism that is perhaps not unjustified but may be improvident.
The minister of media spoke on the issue of culture in regards to both research and creation. He proposed that the country should seek to establish its identity as a part of the process of stabilisation. However, “our priority is in restoring social-security,” he said, “until then our future is too uncertain. It is too early for working in this [cultural] area.” In the meantime, the only audience an artist can work for is outside of Libyan borders. Even then there are a number of considerations that need to be made.
As a foreigner and an artist, photography and film is prohibited unless government permissions and a journalist visa has been sought and given. But with granted permission, a journalists freedom to work is still limited. There is a constant risk of being arrested and deported for spying. Spying itself is a prevalent fear, even contacts such as the students that I met at the University of Tripoli were prone to confess, “we thought for a while that you were a spy.” The sincerity was not lost on me.
Some reservations exist between Tripolitans towards traditional music. The desert and mountain people are generally more prone to maintain music and dance traditions.
Of the percussive, string, and wind instruments native to Libya there are a number that are still being hand made. The zukra is a Libyan bagpipe made with goatskin, a plastic or bamboo blowpipe, and twin flutes. There is also the darbuka drum and a range of drums besides the darbuka. Two aging men with neighbouring stores in the city market of Medina are well known in Tripoli for their handmade instruments. A man behind me tells me, “this guy is the last man to make his drums by hand.” We were looking at a frail figure hobbling around between two towers of large tambourines. He has only one drum for sale and he wants 15 Libyan Dinar for it. I ask him how long it takes to make one of these drums, he thinks for a moment, “I can make three drums in a day,” he says. I decide to buy the drum and he takes the price down to 12 Dinars. I feel as though I am robbing him but he won’t accept an increase in pay. I ask for drumsticks, he makes a gift presentation that acts to make the idea of further payment ever more offensive. I thank him and move on.
The neighbouring craftsman takes us in amongst his instruments to show us his handmade horned zukra’s. I’m interested to learn how he made it and he takes it apart. The treated skin of a goat sown up just before the back legs, the front two legs stoppered by wooden pegs. A blowpipe enters the side of the bag. A larger stopper occupies the neck space. It is a wooden disk with an indent running along its side, this acts as a notch so it can be tied into the neck hole securely. The disk has two flutes poking out from it’s centre that are then adorned with goat horns on the end. He shows us how beeswax keeps the zukra’s flutes in place and what to do if the pipes become loose. I ask how much I can have one for. He says, “150 dinar.” Then laughing he tells me not to buy one, “it takes months to learn to play single notes let alone piece them together.” He is a big man and appears to have a lung infection of some kind. I brought the instrument. Sometimes it is not the things practical use that we want but the idea of it.
Both men, old and harbouring ails, appear to defy death perched on stools and at work making their instruments. For the Libyan public though these instruments are often perceived as having a one purpose value, Marriage ceremonies. Even then there is something of a novelty about the instruments and few people seem to want to know how to play them. These instruments are scorned, it seems, in favour of modern electronic music, and a connected concern here is that the craftsmanship that these two men have will likely disappear shortly after they themselves disappear.
My residence in Tripoli was a shared flat above several car mechanic garages in the suburbs of Felah, West Tripoli. A dozen men from the cities, towns, and villages, surrounding Tripoli lived in this apartment with me, car mechanics, taxi drivers, and self-employed teachers. Aside to insights into their lives including the daily routine of preparing Macaroona Bil-Busla; a pasta dish that they’d eat for dinner every day and typical of Libyan bachelors who lived away from home. I was able to speak with typical Libyans about their feelings about life in Libya as well as sharing other cultural experiences.
On a few occasions, we sat together playing the darbuka. One man among us stood out with his unabashed confidence. This man was Fozie, a car mechanic. As he drummed tambuka I asked him where he learnt to play. He told me “everyone plays darbuka, everyone in Libya.” When I pointed out that I had not heard anyone else play this drum he became pensive. Gaddafi had enforced prohibitive laws that had made cultural activities difficult. Regrettably this had stunted both the cultural knowledge of the people and put the culture in a state of reverse. Fozie deeply sighed, looked resigned and disappointed, shook his head, and exasperated stated, “Gaddafi.”
Increasingly the world media is highlighting cultural activities in Libya and often these document the re-emergence of creative pursuits, such as playing rock music, or access to recreational activities, such as having ice cream. Suggestions that Libya is culture-less are misleading and of course incorrect. An exceptional example and an environment that harbours its own novel identity is the public bus service. It is private, the bus drivers own their buses, and actually the buses are not really buses at all. Locally they are referred to as “Iveco” after the brand name and they are Italian vans. A peculiar characteristic is the Iveco drivers economical approach to space that goes to the extreme of sharing their own seat with passengers. Imaginably, the Iveco represent a part of Libyan society that verges on being culturally divergent.
The Iveco is known for its connection to drug addicts and dealers, however this reputation doesn’t put people off using the Iveco as a means of transport. Iveco keep patrons from a wide demographic of society and maintain a comparably vibrant environment.
Patrons of the Iveco expect to enter an environment that has been decorated with the driver’s selected images wherein they will travel to the accompaniment of excessively overdriven bass frequencies resounding from a DIY installed sound system. Often the Iveco are decorated with Italian or English League football flags and pictures of generic blond haired, blue-eyed, infants, proposing religious statements about religious commitment. Other popular images include family photos of the drivers children or photos of the Iveco that we are travelling in. The most fascinating aspect of these decorations, that an outside observer should be aware of, is the emergent sense of an open family or what could be described as a public celebration of family life. Family life in Libya is traditionally closed from the community that surrounds it and privacy is defended ferociously. These drivers who present their family to their customers, simultaneously make a bold and challenging statement about their humanity, identity, and family pride.
The Iveco van is a small space that simplifies social relationships, bundling everyone together, and bonding through the mutual intention to reach an en-route terminus. Because of the impracticalities of recognising sexual differences and even racial, political, and professional differences in such a small space, these prejudices are often sidelined. The compression of so many people together also means that small habits and behaviours are easily noticed.
On one occasion I stood in the aisle aside a seated young woman in her mid-20′s. We were taking the Iveco out of central Tripoli and she had taken out a dollar in advance of her coming stop. Libyan dollars, or one dinar notes, feature a portrait of Gaddafi on one side. The Iveco usually costs one dinar in the late afternoon and half a dinar in the morning. Unsuspecting, I watched as she deliberately folded the dinar, running the crease through Gaddafi’s printed body. Then with her nails she pinched Gaddafi’s face from the paper. Resting the note on her lap, she proceeded to shred Muammar Gaddafi’s face until the extract became too small for her to tear anymore and the pieces had fallen and scattered beneath her seat. The event had been interesting as a manifest expression of hatred, but it had occurred without any commotion or interest from anyone else on the bus.
Libya’s keyword is “change”. A word that is revolutionary in definition. However despite Libya’s post-revolution national “rebirth”, as it is called, the “new country” has struck up against the reality that life must resume from where it previously was. This was accompanied by a realisation that the Libyan people have a hole where a strong unifying identity should be. Without knowledge of its heritage, or a background of expression, the country is without choice but to look outside for support and recognition. The Iveco might have a fringe culture but even here they tilt towards western idols.
For this reason, Western nations continue to invest in setting precedents in terms of arts activities, video art exhibitions, and other cultural interventions. At least during this initial period of stabilisation, the initial response is to interpret such actions as displays of western supremacy. This could be due to the obvious lack of inclusion of some of these initiatives. Without a connection to Libya, without celebrating the Libyan as an equal in creativity, Libyans are prone to interpret such initiatives negatively. Creative initiatives in Libya would benefit greatly from a greater sense of inclusion, as is realised already by community arts initiatives all over the world.
Education is going to be the key that will open Libya up. This is regardless of whether that education comes through the media, the institutions that teach them, or the social activities that are available. It is clear that all of these will play a role. It also seems self-evident that the most accessible and valuable cultural activities are those that open up and promote the expression of working class people. These people are the Libyan community and are also the demographic most struggling to recognise their identity and future. It should be important therefore that initiatives being funded present the arts as contributions to the living society and the fabric of life. Possibly enriching daily routines with meaning, whilst reflecting the indigenous, cultural and social, interests and values. By developing avenues for expression, community work can not only allow for critical observations into social life but can open up an otherwise closed community.
As a field to which nearly all members of Libyan society are ignorant or naïve, the arts must to look to reflect local interests over and above those of international audiences. The current situation remains that art is made in Libya by outsiders for the outside world. This not only represents the historical low value and interest in the arts within Libya, but it also reflects a tendency of artists to take away from Libya rather than to give to it.
First edition: June/July edition
This is an open invitation for written, filmed, and photographed articles on the subject of arts, culture and life. These subjects are open to interpretation but the articles will be published in a not for profit e-zine that will be released on a bi-monthly basis. The e-zine is being supported by the Maltese arts group, the rubberbodies collective, who are helping to produce this e-zine in Malta. The e-zine’s purpose is primarily to advocate an exchange between nations and cultures and to invite discourses, dialogues and discussions into the Maltese community whilst providing a service for the arts community globally.
As the e-zine intends to communicate ideas, design is really important. Consider design as a vehicle, its’ purpose is to carry information safely from A to B without accidents and without disturbing its’ passenger. Similarly, in an ideal world everyone would use the perfect vehicle to communicate between A and B. If you know what vehicle you would like to use and you want to design your own article’s pages you are welcome to do this. If not then we will place the article in a basic neutral design. Remember that we want to share your ideas, opinions and observations and not in obscuring them (at least unintentionally).
If you would like to contribute to this publication you are welcome to send your material to email@example.com.
We are looking for arts, arts and arts based articles including:
photographs, artworks, photojournalism, journals, journalist research, research papers, creative writing, artistic/social criticism, reviews (impartial), visual arts, curatorial material, choreographic, sculptural , dancer, film, arts related material, business in art, sociology, philosophy, independent arts groups, outsider arts, music, sound art, installation arts, art history, art studies, cultural studies, analyses of language, technology in art, technology, technosophy, discourses on aesthetics, social history, the sublime, the uncanny, peculiarities, graphic design, typography, the isms, food and food culture, poetry, prose, studies of artists, autobiographical studies, psychology, science and the arts, story telling, graphic novels, and the list goes on…
When submitting articles you should pack and send them in the easiest way possible:
If you have created the design for your article, you should save it as an A4 PDF with any embedded images compressed to screen resolution (72ppi). All material embedded in the PDF should also be sent to us separately as with a normal submission [with no layout design].
Text should be sent in a word document (.doc) or text file (.txt).
Images can be saved as 72 PPI jpegs and can be smallest 200 x 200 pixels and largest 1500 x 1500 pixels in dimension. Send groups of images in zipped folders. If you don’t know how to prepare your images, simply send us them in a zipped folder and we can arrange them.
Videos and audio should be uploaded to youtube, soundcloud or another website for hosting media. A link can be sent us.
If you have any questions you should email us! We are open to alternative media,
this information only forms a guide for what we prefer to receive. Thank you! and be in touch!
If you want to make a submission you can consider the following information:
- Arts and Culture baby.
- Submissions are preferably in English although alternative language submissions will be considered.
- You are free to design your submissions layout and presentation etc.
- Photographic articles or video articles will need some kind of contextualising information.
- Our focus is on sharing ideas, activities and culture, we will not use articles that are not relevant to our mission
- Good design communicates the article better! It doesn’t cramp it.
- Collections of materials should be zipped or linked to for download.
- Images should be compressed to 72 ppi.
Information is free. Free to travel, to be exchanged, to be changed. This e-zine is an platform for literary and visual arts and culture related intercourse. Such intercourse promotes cultural and ideological exchanges that should promote cultural growth and development everywhere. But, just as any functional society is, this development is dependent on the participation and engagement of it’s participating communities. Whilst a vast array of opinions may exist virtually on the internet, the internet is not a consolidated and easily navigated source of information. Online communities are capable of profound depths of informational exchange yet such discourse is often lost in the vastness of the web. The binding nature of a journal or e-zine, the pinpointing of articles on a specific point and for a specific purpose, make such articles genuinely valuable to readers.
We hope to offer and promote alternative perspectives and insight to the worlds, both imagined and realised, of others. This e-zine is an experiment and we are aware that whilst this will be a rich resource for some, others may conversely discover nothing of “value”.
One’s articulation always decides the effectiveness of a statement. What is the best way to communicate one’s information, what is the information’s context and how will this affect its translation? This freedom might have parentheses such as a forum’s linear layout, lingual limitations, or font restrictions, but one can innovate a way to negotiate such issues. In response to this, submitters are free to create their own designs for their articles.