The Visual Politics of Independent Print Media in the Twentieth Century

Louise Siddons, Oklahoma State University
Victoria Bazin, Northumbria University

Throughout the 20th century, independent publications were produced by individuals, communities and organisations around the world. This session presents papers that explore the visual culture of newspapers and magazines intentionally produced outside the institutional borders of mainstream media. Often advocating oppositional politics through lenses of gender/sexuality, race and so forth, activist periodicals were the product of editors, artists and designers who took advantage of inexpensive technologies of reproduction and dissemination, as well as resources such as the Liberation News Service, to build wide-ranging networks through print. The carefully curated interplay between text and images offered readers opportunities for self-definition that reflexively consolidated group identifications. Formally, intellectually and politically intersectional, this vernacular press often confounded publishing conventions, promiscuously blending genres and audiences. Intentionally blurring the boundaries between art and design, literature and journalism, these publications made cultural and political space for their readers, while occupying diverse real-world spaces. In this session, we will consider the global vernacular press in order to discover the shared structures and intersectional visual networks of 20th-century independent publishing.


Independent Print Media in Finland, 1907–1939
Tutta Palin (University of Turku, Finland)

Radical Roots? Mapping carnivalesque connections between early 20th-century Witzblätter and Berlin Dada’s ‘Little Magazines’
Lucy Byford (University of Edinburgh)

Black Orpheus: Modern Art, Négritude and Anti-Colonialism in Nigeria, 1957–1961
Ximena Kilroe (City University of New York)

Self-made Revolt: How underground publications operate social change through new graphic strategies
Juliana F. Duque and Davide Ricchiuti (Universidade de Lisboa)

Subverting the Mainstream, Impacting the Mainstream? Interview, Rags and Nova’s Visual Singularities from the 1960s and 1970s On
Alice Morin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris)

Defter: An exploration of affinities through printed words and images
Ceren Özpınar (University of Brighton)




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