As spring attempts to crawl into life, it brings with it a mountain of SS19 publications. But no matter what new or staple mags hit the shelves, one we’re always pleased to see return is Riposte. With the latest issue – put together by editor Danielle Pender, art director Shaz Madani and features editor Liv Siddall – eagle-eyed readers of this smart magazine for women will notice design tweaks and a new section or two amongst the usual, now-beloved regular features and formats.
From a profile on food orientated set designer Laila Gohar to a chat with CEO of Serpentine Galleries Yana Peel, the latest edition is full of envy-generating editorial gems. However, Danielle recommends looking out for an interview with Calypso Rose photographed by Shaniqwa Jarvis. A calypsonian and icon of the carnival scene, the piece pays tribute to the inspiration Calypso has provided for younger artists, her life story and of course, her music. “She championed equality and spoke up about domestic violence and women’s issues in a male-dominated scene when it wasn’t cool to do that,” points out Danielle. “Her music really made a difference to a lot of people. I love publishing stories of older women who have led fascinating lives.”
At the other end of the spectrum, another piece in the publication’s spotlight section documents the incredible sight of spinner driver Stacey-Lee May in speedily rotating action by photographer Kyle Weeks. The youngest and one of the only female spinner drivers in South Africa, “she drives her BMW around and around at super high speeds and then hangs out the window, and lets her hair drag on the ground,” Danielle tells It’s Nice That. “Sometimes she climbs out of the window when the car is locked in a spin and stands on the roof. She’s amazing!”
In contrast to this, Danielle also points out a fascinating interview with Yukiko Ekida, who was part of a far-left terrorist organisation in the 1970s. Yukiko had “an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist agenda,” explains Danielle, and played a part “in blowing up several corporate buildings in Tokyo in the 1970s, then went on the run for 20 years and was finally captured in Romania.” While the editor admits Riposte doesn’t condone Yukiko’s actions, Charlotte Jansen’s piece explores “female violence and what drives a woman to commit such acts of destruction,” a key example of how the magazine encourages and allows a wide range of women to be heard.
Those who are more inclined to pick up Riposte for its visual features are also in for a treat, as is usual with Gem Fletcher’s photography direction. Towards the back of the publication, instead of fashion stories, “as is the tradition in women’s magazines,” Riposte opts for photography essays. This issue sees Sophie Jane Stafford photograph the women she met at the World Nomad Games in Krygyzstan, as well as the photographic results of regular contributor Nina Manandhar building relationships with the girls of a Muslim fencing club. “It’s a sport that allows the girls to remain covered because of the helmet but gives them a physical freedom,” explains Danielle. “They talked about how it makes them feel really powerful and allows them to challenge stereotypes – Nina’s series really captures all of this.”
But in terms of new tweaks to the publication, Riposte introduces an agenda section which will explore a new theme every issue. Its first sees the publication hand over spreads to Seetal Solanki of Ma-tt-er, who has curated a collection of essays, features and interviews “that look at why materials matter in reaction to sustainability”. Graphic designers with a keen eye for detail will also relish Shaz Madani’s editorial design edits in the meetings section of the mag, introducing new section headers, as well as new design elements throughout the issue.
While there are new additions to look forward to in its 11th issue, editorial interviews and photography stories to gawp at, as well as personal essays to enlighten readers, one consistent element regular Riposte fans will not be disappointed with is the breadth of women’s voices that are encouraged to speak up in its spreads.
The new issue of Riposte is available to buy here.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.