In years to come, people may ask: where were you in 2016?
Did you vote for the first female president of the United States, or did you help elect Donald Trump? Did you choose to cut ties with Europe, or did you fight for a united future?
2016 is the year the world split in two, the year that will go down in history as the moment when the echo chamber burst our bubble.
In this issue, we’re saying sayonara to social media. We’re closing our screens, putting down our phones and getting off the grid.
We’ll meet people who go under the radar to find fulfilment, and spotlight those who champion tangible experience above all else.
It’s time to turn off, tune in and drop out…
After hitting the road as a directionless teen, photographer Antoine Bruy discovered a radical community living in the wild, leaving the rat race behind.
Behind Abandoned Doors
As urban exploration spreads far and wide, the art of ‘hacking’ hidden locations remains closely guarded. But for photographer Valerie Leroy, there’s one rule that can’t be ignored: take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.
As the Batman of skateboarding, this DIY superhero transforms neglected spaces under the cover of darkness. We spend time watching him work his magic in the boroughs of New York.
We buckle down with the indigenous activists who have battled to halt the North Dakota Access Pipeline, forming a wall of resistance spanning nations and sacred lands.
The Flaming Lips
Even when the shit hits the fan, The Flaming Lips keep finding freaky ways to challenge convention and bring people together.
Escape Your Life
Sometimes the only way to survive is to pack everything up and start over. But whether you’re drawn to the unknown or driven by a need to cut ties, life lessons have a way of catching up with you.
Arthur is an unassuming taxi driver from London’s East End. Gloria is a 70-year-old dominatrix helping people let go of themselves. Although they’re the same person, this is not a double life. It’s a reminder that sometimes the most colourful characters exist beneath the surface.
Bret Easton Ellis
Movies are finished, the novel is dead and the internet is driving people insane. Welcome to the world of Bret Easton Ellis: a literary maverick who’s brutally honest about life in the digital age.
After years of disconnection, the Cuban government has introduced 35 public WiFi hotspots across the country. Cuban writer Osdany Morales takes us inside the vortex of Havana’s WiFi zone – and the pixelated dreams that live there.
Rafal Gerszak had to witness war in order to document history. But it almost cost him his life. Out in the wild of Canada’s north, he found his way back from the brink.
Reykjavíkurdætur (Daughters of Reykjavík)
With songs about slut-shaming and body positivity, Iceland’s punkest hip hop collective are finally putting the country’s female rappers on the map.
NYC’s most distinct counterculture icon is the stuff of urban legend: a blind vagabond, dressed as a viking, who influenced a wave of seminal artists. Now a film is finally bringing his story to light.
The Pinball Punk
When musician Adam Kiesler tried to bring pinball back from the dead, kickstarting a scene in Montreal, he uncovered the game’s seedy past – and the archaic laws that banned it.
Teen athlete Rahel Gebretsadik had to flee Eritrea to find her feet. Now she’s gunning for the finishing line in Israel, running stateless and proud as a refugee.
In the frozen heartland of Finland, Jaakko Saavalainen’s do-it-yourself attitude proves that anywhere can become a skate utopia – as long as you’re willing to put in the work.
Mary Nally started a cultural biennial on a small Irish island, giving people a chance to unplug and reignite their creative spark.
Out in the real world, Archie Fairhurst is searching for border-defying sounds that can be transformed into something timeless.
After giving up six-figures salaries in the corporate world, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus decided to simplify. Now they help others make space for what’s important in life.