With the world increasingly looking like it’s falling apart, optimism can sometimes feel hard to come by. After all, in the face of global division, chaos, inequality and a climate emergency, utopia has rarely looked further away.
But this kind of thinking plays right into the hands of the forces upholding such conditions. In response, our 71st issue is celebrating those who outright refuse to accept that a different future isn’t possible. Across a range of stories, we’re spotlighting the people – from artists to activists – who’ve taken it upon themselves to build something better. Something bolder.
Featuring: Joel Meyerowitz, Maya Gabeira, The Antiuniversity, (Sandy) Alex G, London’s Shaolin warriors, Mica Levi, Extinction Rebellion, Black Belt Eagle Scout – and lots more.
As a young photographer, Joel Meyerowitz spent his summers in a small coastal haven situated at the northern tip of Cape Cod – a place where lovers, artists and runaways could live freely, without restriction or judgement.
Last year, the Brazilian surfer rode a colossal 68-foot wave, conquering it at the same place she’d almost drowned five years prior. It was a crowning moment, one that saw her shattering a world record in the process. So what came next?
In 1968, a group of counter-cultural thinkers came together to radically transform learning. While their experiment – the Antiuniversity – was ultimately short-lived, it exposed education as elitist and lacking in imagination. But now, steered by a new generation of activists, it’s back.
A self-identifying queer, indigenous, feminist musician, Black Belt Eagle Scout earned her stripes in Portland’s underground scene. Two critically acclaimed albums later, she’s operating on a much larger platform – determined to make a positive different in the process.
Last year, Isa Mazzei took Hollywood by storm with a psychological horror based on her own first-hand experience in the sex industry. As she gears up to release her debut memoir, the award-winning writer is looking back on how her time as a cam girl saved her at her lowest point.
As Germany grapples with societal fractures and a far-right surge, the country’s younger generation has discovered a new way of building bridges in the face of division: hip hop.
The Philadelphia songwriter has grown from cult online artist to indie rock heavyweight without ever sacrificing his DIY approach. Thanks to a new album, his stock is set to increase even further. But he’s happy to continue trusting his instincts – regardless of where they take him.
For the past three years, photographer Stefano Lemon has been documenting South Florida’s hardcore scene – a wild underdog movement that refuses to die.
The Taiwanese artist repurposes technology to create bold new worlds. One day, you might find her scrambling cameras to resist surveillance. The next, she could be directing subversive sci-fi porn. For Shu Lea, one thing’s for sure: with the right kind of tinkering, anything is possible.
In response to the current political climate, the author of Steal as Much as You Can is issuing a rallying cry. A better future is possible – and it all starts with the radical act of imagination.
In a leafy London suburb, a group of dedicated warriors have carved out a space where they can be the best versions of themselves – mind, body and soul. Welcome to Shaolin Temple UK: a martial arts school where the path to mastery starts from within.
Photographer Giovana Schluter grew up uneasy in one of Brazil’s many gated communities – artificial enclaves constructed for the country’s middle classes. Years later, she returned to a development just like the one of her youth, hoping to get to the heart of their emptiness
In the face of a climate emergency, activists are fighting to see environmental destruction recognised as an international crime. By prosecuting those who harm the planet, individuals would finally be held to account – a victory that would change everything
Whether making pioneering art-pop or composing Oscar-nominated film scores, Mica Levi has one rule: disrupt. With a haunting new composition for a feverish new film, the British artist is back doing what she does best – smashing boundaries, breaking new ground.