Riposte is back after a two-year hiatus
Back after a two year hiatus, Riposte has just launched issue 13. The strapline on the website has been whittled down from a “smart magazine for women” to “A magazine for women”, which perhaps speaks to the difficulty of carving out a niche in feminist publishing today.
When Riposte launched in 2013, it was literally a “riposte” to contemporary women’s media, publishing thoughtful interviews and profiles of women who might not feature in a mainstream magazine. But many of the pieces in this issue — like an interview with the Birkbeck academic Katherine Angel, author of Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again, and a check-in with four women about how the last 18 months has been for them — would not be out of place on the pages of Vogue or Elle. In part, this is a testament to the success of Riposte’s publishing model; the advent of independent women’s magazines has forced change in the mainstream titles. But longtime Riposte readers might feel a flicker of disappointment that this edition is not more boundary-pushing.
The design remains inventive, with signature Riposte cover-art; pale pink with no image at all, just a list of women you can expect to see inside: “Céline Semaan, Cassi Namoda, Nicole McLaughlin, Katherine Angel & Mya-Rose Craig”. Probably my favourite piece is entirely printed in black and white: images taken at government-run training camps in the north-central Indian states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where young women train to become Olympic wrestlers, boxers and judo players.
Below are some of the most arresting spreads.