Despite being titled Romance Journal, the basis and content within the newly launched publication isn’t necessarily romantic. Instead, the magazine builds upon the powerful “state of feeling” that romance evokes, applying the forceful feeling to represent ‘Emotions’ in its first issue, and more recently ‘Resistance’ in issue two.
The strength of Romance Journal develops from a high standard of creative commissioning. Alongside in depth profiles on those who demonstrate the feeling an issue concentrates on, evocative portraits are featured which pinpoint and then highlight their personal strengths. A constant in both issues of the publication, despite their differing themes, is strong women who represent the core of the theme at hand. Issue two for instance features interviews with Women’s March organisers Sarah Sophie Flicker and Carmen Perez, Refinery29 co-founder and executive creative director Piera Gelardi, and muslim-girl.com founder, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, true advocates of ‘Resistance’, particularly in 2017.
Each interview mixes both the personal and political stance of the women featured. “Focused on ‘Resistance’ as a topic that’s at once an active pursuit and a state of feeling, issue two shares the women’s individual stories to create a varied perspective on politics, expression, social responsibility and their efforts to create change and shift the collective consciousness toward progress, equality and justice for all,” the publication explains.
As well as producing the magazine for issue two, the publication’s team also created four videos interpreting the topic of resistance, posing the question “What does resistance mean to you?” to the women featured. “As we’ve been working on issue two, the country has been faced with some very disturbing realities,” founder and creative director of Romance Journal, Roanne Adams explains. “How do we repair a divide that led so many white women to vote for Trump? How do we acknowledge privilege and use it for good? How do we elevate voices that have been systematically silenced for so long? How do we face the darkness of our time head-on?”
Consequently, the second issue of Romance Journal is brimming with empowering content, even if you’re just flicking through or reading deeply. In turn, it is a publication that reflects but also zooms forward, as Roanne explains: “What I’ve found is resistance has room for all kinds of voices…dreamers, fighters, lovers, artists, educators, newcomers, thinking writers — every single voice has a place, a purpose, and a power.”
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