For our fifth issue, we’ve taken on the theme of “them and us”. We don’t usually give a great deal of direction to our writers, photographers, illustrators and designers when we hand them the theme, whether that’s “cities”, “appetites”, “journeys” or (for our next issue) “home”. But we had a fair idea they’d enjoy sinking their teeth into this one, as it gave them licence to go deeper, finding and telling stories that confront us with what divides us, or makes us different… good and bad…as well as the people and organisations working to overcome division or celebrate difference.
The north east has its own, unique challenges of inequality, prejudice, exclusion and conformity. Over 132 pages, we’ve sought to reflect and question the walls we (or others) build around us.
Our contributors report on the victims of prejudice and exclusion in our region: the Roma people, still facing exclusion after a thousand years of persecution; the schoolboy with Aspergers’, bullied and mocked for being different; the artists who battle the stigma of mental illness on a daily basis.
But this “them and us” leitmotif has also given us the impetus to prod the hidden, subtler misunderstandings, myths and intolerances that lie within, the blind spots that make us quick to judge. We explore the thinking of substance abusers, spiritualists, the elderly, athletes who dope, convicted prisoners… even poets and tribute acts as we seek to know the people behind the labels we’ve foisted upon them.
You can buy your copy here. We hope you find it an enjoyable, thought-provoking and, perhaps, even challenging read.