Huck's most popular online stories of 2015

Huck's most popular online stories of 2015
The people and places that shaped our year — 2015 saw Huck hit its 50th issue, along with continuing to deliver diverse, compelling stories about radical individuals, unheralded voices, and the movements shaping the world around us.

With the year coming to a close, Huck has compiled its most popular online stories of the last twelve months.


New York City is killing its grassroots culture (December)
Using Taylor Swift’s odd anointment as New York’s ‘welcome ambassador’ as a jumping-off point, Huck talks to Clayton Patterson, a photographer and artist who has long chronicled New York City’s counter-culture. Now campaigning against the corporate agenda invading his city, he speaks for a community being slowly drowned out: “Wake up, N.Y.C.!”


Screen-Shot-2015-01-06-at-13.19.28STRIKE! Magazine activists highlight the pointlessness of bullshit jobs (January)
A militant wing of STRIKE! Magazine was responsible for an array of gloomy signs glimpsed on the London Underground in January. Calling attention to the low-paying, zero-respect jobs engineered to exploit workers, quotes from anthropologist and anarchist activist David Graeber cover the signs. Huck spoke to Strike! Magazine’s devious counter-propaganda team.



Photo: Marion Poizeau

The female surfers smashing outdated stereotypes in Iran (February)
Marion Poizeau doesn’t just expose the burgeoning sports industry in Iran in her documentary Into the Sea, but also the role Iranian women are playing in it. Huck spoke to the filmmaker in February about the pioneering female surfers in the country.



Photo: Gareth Bentley

Is Zambia Africa’s new skate hotspot? (February)
“Elijah Zgambo may be responsible for the evolution of skateboarding in Zambia, but it was dodging skinheads as a black skater in Russia where he first discovered his passion.” A story of an incredible skating pioneer.


Photo: Pat Graham

Photo: Pat Graham

Is music photography dead? (March)
Iconic photographer Pat Graham laments the decline of professional music photography, blaming the folding of music mags, the record labels on the wane, and the general lack of money in the industry. This is a sad, moving tale of a dying artistic profession.



Photo: Bristol Skipchen

Freeganism: The grassroots economy redefining the meaning of waste (April)
It’s either a wonderful sign of a timely, relevant article or a horrible statement on how much austerity sucks that this article ranked so high on our list. Either way, this exploration into the subculture of dumpster-diving or ‘freeganism’ is a reminder of the young people tackling economic hardship on their own terms.


The 14-year-old environmental activist changing this generation (April)
“The biggest challenge we face is shifting human consciousness, because the planet doesn’t need saving – we do.” Wise words from 14-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Martinez in Kid Warrior, a short documentary linked by Huck in April. Watch it and feel very insecure about your own environmental cred.


Video: Photographer realises childhood dream and builds a fairytale treehouse (June)
Remember being a kid and fantasising about your own private treehouse, or den, or secret hiding spot at the bottom of the garden? Photographer Foster Huntington tapped into everyone’s childhood nostalgia by building his own fantasy treehouse, complete with skate bowl. The 15-minute video detailing his journey is awe-inspiring.


Kelli4California racer Kelli Samuelson is at the forefront of women’s cycling (June)
With tattoos covering 60% of her body and fighting a chronic leg injury, cyclist Kelli Samuelson is the definition of a badass. Huck spoke to her in June about her own road team, LA Sweat, as she prepares her body for competing in the 2020 Olympics.


41A746620150306061614PM-958x559A new wave of surf movies (June)
This story explored a series of new documentaries chronicling the changing face of surfing, From the days where surfing was a true alternative sport, full of rejects and slackers who worshipped the waves, to the more mainstream variations on the surf today. Featuring some very cool trailers too.



Photo: James Bowden

The Irish pro surfer who dropped out to grow veg in the County Clare (July)
Meet Irish pro surfer Fergal Smith, who talks about his freewheeling, adrenaline-soaked experiences in the surf, and what compelled him to walk away from his World-Tour dream. Huck finds him growing vegetables in the County Clare, where his new passion has helped form a community of change.


Illustration: Peter Strain

Illustration: Peter Strain

Does a nomadic childhood lead to a more creative life? (July)
This essay from Huck‘s Origins Issue pondered whether it’s nurture or nature that inspires a life entrenched in creativity, specifically a childhood spent bouncing between different locations. The article is accompanied by a series of stunning illustrations by Peter Strain, featuring artistic renderings of famous childhood nomads including Joe Strummer and Pete Doherty.



Photo: Ming Nomchong

Meet Ishita Malaviya, India’s first female surfer (August)
Ishita Malaviya was an ordinary teenage girl when she unknowingly became a surfing pioneer: India’s first female surfer. Now armed with daring water skills and the confidence of a surf icon, Malaviya is spreading her love for the sport across India, a country with 7,000km of coast but a relative lack of surfing. Huck spoke to her in August.


Dirty Kids: Where disenfranchised Americans build their own utopia (August)
Huck speaks to British filmmaker Alice Stein, whose documentary Dirty Kids follows the various outcasts, weirdos and hippies who every year congregate at Rainbow Gatherings in the United States – temporary communities that prove the subversive movements of the 1960’s never truly went away.


Video: Girls bomb beautiful winding Norway hills on longboards (August)
It’s no surprise this was one of the most viewed stories of the year, featuring an obscenely beautiful skate video that is half inspirational diary entry, half wanderlust orgasm. The short film follows longboarder Ishtar Båcklund as she skates through the roads and hills of Norway with her friends, directed by Maceo Frost. Watch it in your cramped, dingy flat after a long day at work and get jealous.


Photo: Annie Sakkab

Photo: Annie Sakkab

All-girl bike gang The Deadly Nightshades keeping cycling grrrl power alive (September)
The Deadly Nightshades are a Toronto-based cycling gang made up of women with names like Big Red, Namtron and Fierce Bambi. In September, Huck chronicled their story in partnership with the cycling paper The Commuter Journal. An inspiring, creative merging of riot grrrl feminism and DIY bike culture.


Screen-Shot-2015-09-03-at-14.24.12-884x559The refugee crisis and how you can help (September)
Watching the unfolding refugee crisis from the comfort of your sofa and desperate to offer some real help? This practical how-to guide was one of a number of articles from Huck chronicling this year’s refugee crisis, and its placement on the most-read list speaks to our readership’s collective desire to help those in the most need.



Illustration: Jaya Nicely

A countercultural history of walking (October)
“Walking, by virtue of its very slowness, has become a radical act; an expression of individual freedom in a system designed for speedy travel, along the pre-determined routes of railways, roads and flight paths.”


Photo: Santeri Hiltunen

Photo: Santeri Hiltunen

Meet the creative nomads building new lives on the move (October)
Huck spoke to Sven Ehmann, editor of The New Nomads: Temporary Spaces and Life on the Move, a new book all about a new generation of creative nomads existing in co-working spaces, mobile homes and continents.


The British curator who helps photographers find their voice (October)
Huck spoke to several of the photographers and collectives brought together by curator Stuart Pilkington as part of his 100 Mile Radius project. With Stuart recovering from a stroke, many of the photographers inspired by his work banded together to offer support.



Photo: Keymea Yazdanian

The private lives of revolutionary women in Iran (November)
“Iranian women are much more than their own country and the West perceive them to be.” Huck speaks to Keymea Yazdanian, who has been photographing Iranian women in their private spaces, no longer requiring of wearing the hijab. A powerful, compelling work of art.


Illustration: Rupert Smissen

Illustration: Rupert Smissen

Welcome to your post-capitalist future (December)
As Channel 4 economics editor and author of Post-Capitalism: A Glimpse to Our Future, Paul Mason knows all about the state of the planet and our place in it. In December, he gave Huck a rundown of the possible ways of the future – how it’s sometimes hard to spot the grassroots anti-capitalism flourishing around us that could indicate where we’re all headed.

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