Discontent - Political issues in the independent world
The independent magazine as a form of expression and dissemination on social rights is a widely used tool. Civil rights, feminism, individual freedoms, the most beautiful print media can produce authentic masterpieces that we like to call very "Frab's". On the other hand, it is still very difficult to find quality editorial projects that talk about a subject as little in vogue as policy. We find academic texts, others blatantly biased or the more mainstream magazines still far from the independent world that we like (and, let's face it, less and less on the piece).
In this still little explored space, we count among the few noteworthy magazines to date Oxygen, Menelique and Jacobin. In recent months, another one has been added, which we want to talk to you about, which breaks through very hot topics in these groups and above all manages to focus on a specific geographical area in a very interesting way.
It is about Discontent: a magazine created by Middle Eastern citizens around the world, with headquarters and hearts in Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine. A magazine at its debut that makes a very interesting promise, which we found perfectly kept at least in the first issue: dealing with the human and social turmoil of the Middle East. Inside there is much of what we know, even if we have not lived it, of the political struggle magazines of the 70s of which production was in full swing in these areas as well. We find a true, concrete narration, reportage of what happens in these lands, but also profound and very useful introspections and human stories to narrate the heart and the feelings that accompany political instability.
And it is precisely the human touch that distinguishes this magazine: we almost perceive the anguish of the main narrators of each article, able to go into the details of public events as much as an aseptic historical text, without forgetting the emotions that each story brings. with him.
Behind the project is Editor Iain Akerman, a Lebanese living in the suburbs of London, who experiences it a bit like the mission of those who have had to leave their homeland, but have found a new way to tell it. To do this, he surrounded himself with many who, like him, live in various areas of the world while maintaining a very close bond with the places where they were born and raised.
The magazine is made up of 170 pages of texts and photographs. Two in particular are those that testify to the importance of this magazine. The first is the introduction: the story of the young reporter Dayna Ash who tells the events of the riots in Beirut in 2019 against the economic crisis of her country and the political inability to stop it, of the square and then of the return to Beirut for a few years. later, or our days, described as a place devastated by the pandemic and by all the inducements it has interrupted, but above all by inflation, and by the rampant poverty in the country. Dayna's is a manifesto of the will to fight that never stops, carried on in peaceful protests in distant New York where she temporarily moved. It is precisely the riots, the history and the necessity of the revolutions in the Middle East that are also narrated in subsequent reports and that occupy half of this first issue.
A different land and a new voice instead of Hind Shoufani's "Meditation in Five Parts". 30 pages divided into 5 sections that tell in a very introspective way the author's attachment to his land: Palestine. The texts are accompanied by an effective selection of vintage photos that represent the same memories narrated in the texts. A useful and very delicate way to touch on one of the many aspects of the Palestinian question.
We are happy with Discontent and wish this magazine a long life because it is able to talk about Middle Eastern politics in a fresh, but at the same time intense, way, all seasoned with interesting graphic choices and important photographic research. It is by following these footsteps that, in the world of independent publishing, political magazines will find a beautiful space for growth in the future.
Discontent can be found on Frab's HERE.