Searching for modern-day fairytales? So is Nuda, the magazine collecting conspiracies

Feeling bogged down by reality, the founders of Scandinavian mag Nuda examine the eternal appeal of the fictitious with David Lynch, Steve Aoki and Female Pentimento.

12 December 2023

You’re looking for a piece of fiction like no other. Something that feels just real enough to be believable, but incredible enough to make your spine do a little tingle. It can be a ghost story or about witches if you’d like, or crop circles or conspiracy theories. Someone plops a telephone down in front of you – in this analogy, let’s make the phone a golden, old-fashioned rotary. You can call anyone to give you a story. Who’s it going to be?

The answer will likely be different strokes for different folks. But we can give you the list recently put together by the founders of the magazine Nuda, Nora Arrhenius Hagdahl and Frida Vega Salomonsson, who, so fed up with reality while working towards their latest issue, looked to some of the world’s best storytellers to find some respite.

Among the contributors to Saga is master of the illusory David Lynch, whose surreal photographs of snowmen and models are on display. But there’s others who you might not expect, including the Finnish rock band and Eurovision winners Lordi, who have crafted an entire fictional world around themselves through their reptilian costumes. (While making Nuda, the founders remember how they had to lead these “five eight-foot monsters with fangs and claws” through a hotel lobby of long-haired fans who were screaming one of the band’s hits, Hard Rock Hallelujah, “lowkey aggressively”).


Nuda: Saga (Copyright © Nuda, 2023)

You’ll also find an interview between Nora and the writer and critic Chris Kraus – “we had a really interesting talk but I was totally nervous beforehand,” says Nora – and DJ and producer Steve Aoki, who was shot on a “magical white horse in the middle of Las Vegas”. The production process saw Nora and Frida gather contributors like they were hosting an eclectic dinner party. “We start every book project with a wishlist of people to include after associating freely on the theme, not everything happens but you also bump into new things along the process,” says Frida. Eventually, Saga was born.

The magazine, which Frida and Nora prefer to think of like a book, features 350 pages and six silver covers, inspired by the look of shiny knight’s armour. Inside, you’ll find stories and work on ethereal beasts, the search for alternative truths post 9/11, and the history of the epic tale Beowulf. It’s a must for anyone who is keen to scratch behind the sheen of the everyday and tap into something a bit more ethereal.

For Nora and Frida, it’s onto the next issue of Nuda and another theme. Although, it won’t be an easy transition. “When you’re really into the world of a theme you start seeing it in everything and everyone,” says Frida. Saga has had a similar impact on us, increasing our appetite for fairytales tenfold.

GalleryNuda: Saga (Copyright © Nuda, 2023)

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Nuda: Saga (Copyright © Nuda, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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