Examining the movement of people, ideas and goods around the world, Migrant Journal takes an informative look at the phenomenon of migration and its impact on contemporary life. It’s a beautifully-made, texturally and visually stunning publication, and we’re thrilled to have it join the other magazines in our line up. Learn more about their project as we interview the founders below.
Justinien Tribillon and Catarina De Almeida Brito
Editors and publishers
What is Migrant Journal?
Migrant Journal is a six-issue publication exploring migration(s) in all their forms and their impact on space.
What makes it different to the rest?
We’re a publishing project where editors and designers have worked very closely together, from the very beginning, in order to produce a publication whose form and substance are as intertwined as possible. Isabel Seiffert and Christoph Miler (Offshore Studio), Migrant Journal’s art directors, are also co-editors. Editors and designers also work intensively with each issue’s contributors — we work on the text and the visual elements, aiming at being as flexible and open-minded as possible in order to produce pertinent and interesting content.
Who makes Migrant Journal?
Migrant Journal is made by two editors Catarina and Justinien, and two designers Christoph and Isabel. For each issue we release a call for proposals — we receive proposals from everywhere in the world to propose writing pieces, photographs, poems, comic strips, academic essays, translations, art installations, etc. We try to diffuse our calls for proposals as widely as possible in order to reach outside our own professional/intellectual/social communities. It’s very important for us to be as interdisciplinary and international as possible.
Who reads it?
Our first readers were probably designers, architects, urbanists, geographers — individuals interested in space, migration and design. But now, thanks to interesting and diverse press coverage (from Stack’s blog to Creative Review, from Monocle to ZEITmagazin), it feels like we’re pushing the boundaries — both geographical and intellectual — that supported us from the very beginning. And that feels amazing, because we did this to reach out to as many readers as possible, and hope that they’re as diverse as possible.
Why do you work in magazines?
For the four of us, the ‘magazine’ tag is probably not so important — what we’re interested in is the print medium. We think it’s still very relevant and we’re all bookworms and book lovers. And there’s an extraordinary feeling when you think that there are several thousand copies of Migrant Journal disseminating across the world and that they are going to settle in our readers’ homes, in their offices and libraries.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Catarina is an architect in Norway. Justinien is an independent urbanist and writer based in London, and he’s a PhD candidate at University College London where he also teaches.
What would you change about Migrant Journal if you could?
Besides its great content and design, Migrant Journal is a beautiful object. We’re not a charity but we operate as a nonprofit and we make a big financial effort to keep the price relatively low because we don’t want our journal to be a luxury product. But that philosophy has a cost, so it’d be great if we could make money miraculously appear in our bank account, so that we can go on producing a beautiful publication at an affordable price — yes, sponsors and patrons, we’re looking at you!
We’d also like to keep pushing the boundaries of dissemination — find more bookshops and institutions to organise events and distribute us across the world. Right now, our dissemination streams are rather concentrated in Europe and North America, and that’s something we’d like to change — be more present in Asia, Africa and South America.
Where do you see Migrant Journal in five years?
Migrant Journal is a six-issue publication released twice a year. It means that in five years this project will have come to an end! But we hope the legacy will live on, and that we we will have had successfully turned the perception people have of migration upside down, making it something positive and fruitful. We also hope Migrant Journal will remain as a testimony of the political and intellectual debates of the late 2010s, and as a superb publishing project. But for now, we have five other issues to produce, and we’re very much looking forward to it.