Could you please introduce yourselves?
“I’m Luc, I’m the Editor of Between Borders and one of the original founding team. Away from the mag I’m an intern at a MusicPR company but pretty much all my free time gets pumped back into the magazine at the moment. Writing has always been my creative outlet, and in creating a platform with the mag it’s allowed me to pursue and develop that passion. Equally I’ve always been intrigued by sports and that has definitely been reflected in the magazine of late. I’m fascinated by the subcultures that form around them and the bonds that are built through sport as they often provide some of the most welcoming communities and tightest fraternities. Often bonds that are stronger than family ties rest within sports teams and fan bases.
I’m Tom, the Creative Director and co-founder at Between Borders. I live and work in east London- working as a graphic designer through the week. I’m passionate about the arts, culture and social change, passions which have been articulated through Between Borders. Art, music and film in particular are the reason why I fell in love with design and are what inspire me creatively every day. It’s a truly special opportunity for me to be able to channel these passions on a platform we crafted, whilst championing the stories we believe in.
I’m Zeb, one of the co-founders and the acting business director. Outside of BB I’ve got a full-time, corporate job in Investments;I’ve always needed to have a creative outlet and working on the magazine really provides that. Aside from work I think keeping fit is important as it keeps you clear-minded and aware of everything that goes on around you – anything from gym to boxing to badminton! It’s an energy thing – I have to keep the balance right or it tips over! Food is also very important for me in that respect. More than just nutrition, it’s about bringing people together as well as giving insights into other cultures and ways of living.”
Could you introduce Between Borders?
“Between Borders is a platform and magazine created to open dialogues about identity and what constitutes Britishness in the 21st century. Its primary focus is on exploring Britishness through the eyes and lived experiences of second and third generation migrants. By celebrating the work of creatives from different backgrounds we hope to highlight just how diverse Britain is today.”
What motivated you to begin Between Borders?
“I guess it was purely out of frustration primarily. It was launched out of a frustration at the right wing monopolisation of the British identity, in a climate dominated by Trump, Brexit and populism we thought ‘why can’t we use this as an opportunity to politicise identity but in a positive way?’. If identity is being used a tool to divide us why can’t we flip that on its head and use it to unite people? By reconceptualising Britishness as an identity that’s inclusive not exclusive that’s what we hope to do. In doing so we hope to create a space, a platform where the work of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender can be platformed, showcased and championed equally.
On a more content-centric approach we set up the platform to counter the clickbait content that saturated our newsfeeds, we wanted to reach beyond a headline and craft content and narratives that are worth reading about and investing in. We want our articles and interviews to have a lasting, take away effect on our readers. In an era of instant gratification we want to create an impact that’s a little more lasting and a little less superficial.
What are your upcoming plans for the project?
“Yeah, I’m really excited about this actually we’ve got three amazing projects coming up in 2019. We’re branching out and venturing into more multimedia projects which has always been an ambition of ours. I’m very proud to announce we’re working on a short documentary style film with the incredibly talented team behind Shado Mag, the documentary is going to investigate what it means to be a Londoner for the people who call it home. We’re working on a children’s book at the moment in collaboration with one of our amazing illustrators and the last, well you’re just have to wait and hear a little bit more about that, but it’s our most ambitious project to date and i’m incredibly excited about it moving forwards into 2019.
What’s the goal for the magazine in the near and far future?
“What’s always been integral to Between Borders is the sense of community and safe space we want to create. What’s essential for us over the next year is that we really start engaging and interacting with our readers. I want to move into events over the next year, continuing to build on the success we’ve had thus far. In a digitally defined era I don’t think you can underestimate the importance of actual human connection, whether that’s through parties, talks, or workshops.
I don’t really believe in short term target setting, I think when you focus too much on the minuscule, the day-to-day you lose sight of the long term goal. Of course what’s always been part of the plan is a print edition of the magazine, but that’s far from the be all and end. We’re not pursuing a vanity project but at the same time it’s great when you actually see a physical manifestation of your work. So a print edition is definitely on the cards in 2019, we’ll just have to wait and see. We don’t want to rule anything out or become too singular in focus but we’ll see. I’m excited by what’s to come.“
Congratulations on being selected as a youth partners in collaboration with Chime For Change. How did this come about, and what was this like for you?
“If I’m being honest it came as a complete shock when I first read the e-mail. I thought it might have actually been spam. They reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in partnering in this years irregularity report, which is great by the way. This years report was about fluidity, whether that applies to sexuality, gender or identity we really found it to ring true with our ethos. As a magazine that prides itself on creating a safe space for discussions on identity we were honoured to collaborate with Gucci and Chime For Change.
It was a really encouraging way to round off what has been an incredibly busy year. More than anything else I guess it serves as validation that what we’re doing, other people are digging. We’re not people pleasers. Everything we’re doing is explicitly us. We don’t feel the need to tailor anything to anyone, we’re just championing who and what we want to champion, and if other people like it that’s an added bonus. The primary benefactor has always, and will always be the people who identify as being Between Borders.”