Lebanese drag queens unite Cold Cuts magazine

by Steve Watson in April 2019

Published in Beirut, Cold Cuts magazine is an extended photo collection that runs alongside a short story about two drag queens getting ready to appear in a local nightclub. Spreading the text throughout the magazine in short little snippets, it creates a playful and absorbing form of visual storytelling.

At first glance the blocks of text could be picture captions, but closer inspection reveals a single story that unfolds in tiny snatches, encouraging a slow and contemplative reading experience. Sometimes the images selected relate to the text on the page; sometimes they seem to respond to one another; and sometimes there’s no obvious reason for the picture choices other than the overall contribution to the mood of the magazine. The drag queens provide a sort of heart to the whole thing, and while the photography does sometimes show drag artists and related images, it also ranges far beyond that theme, and the story becomes a way to unite these disparate pictures under a single narrative.

The story itself is also provided as a removable insert printed on silver paper, but I much prefer the experience of going page by page, slowly absorbing the whole thing as a piece of visual storytelling, and allowing connections to form between the pictures. Take a look at the video above for a guided flick through the issue, and some of my favourite little details in the issue.


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Cold Cuts issue 1 Queer culture, Middle East, Drag

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