It’s Freezing in LA! on its seventh issue and first season of audiobooks
Issue 7 challenges the empty promises made by governments to tackle climate change, while Season One of It’s Freezing in LA! Audiobooks revisits previous issues and themes.
- Daniel Milroy Maher
- 2 June 2021
For its seventh issue, which was released last month, “environmental slow journalism” magazine It’s Freezing in LA! (IFLA!) worked with the theme of regeneration. Disillusioned with empty net zero pledges made by governments and businesses around the world, which have doubled in the last year, the team at IFLA! wanted to explore the “messy, necessary, complex climate actions that truly protect our planet”. To do so, they investigated the different people and movements that “put climate action under a broad lens”, from climate activists working in digital spaces to artists challenging conventional narratives around oil politics, as well as global approaches to regeneration such as “slow fashion in the South Asian diaspora, handling death sustainably, restorative agriculture, and regenerative social housing”.
As with every issue of IFLA!, this seventh release uses climate data and information related to the theme to inform its design and visual expression. This time, the graphics on the cover and throughout the magazine have been taken from microscopic imagery of ice cores, which are long cylinders of ice collected from Antarctica. “These extend hundreds of meters below the Earth’s surface, and are used by scientists to retrace historical atmospheric conditions,” explains Steph Glover from the editorial team. “Scientists test the contents of gas bubbles, between the colourful grains, to see how concentrations of greenhouse gases have changed over the past centuries.” In this way, the ice cores can provide quantitative data on aspects of climate change, but they cannot provide qualitative insights – similar to the way in which frequently insincere net zero pledges focus only on “target dates and timescales” and less on the “complex social and political factors linked to climate change”.
This link inspired IFLA!’s designer Matthew Lewis to take the detailed images of the ice cores and create a more colour-restricted version of them to work with the magazine’s identity. As well as forming the primary visuals for this issue, this approach revealed microscopic photography’s ability to “highlight the beautiful subtlety of science.” Alongside Matthew’s patterned graphics, issue seven also features work by a global selection of artists and illustrators, including a series of illustrations by Seoul-based illustrator Jiye Kim that show “the process of making khadi, a type of cotton that is hand-spun and hand-woven using a 5000-year-old technique, which Mahatma Gandhi encouraged Indians to use ‘to boycott British-made cloth as part of his fight for independence from the British in the 1920s’”.
As well as the seventh instalment of the print magazine, IFLA! has also released its first season of audiobooks as a way of revisiting past articles. These are read by well-known actors such as Bill Milner and Charlie Rowe and are backgrounded by sound design that reflects the landscapes specific to the articles. The visuals for each audiobook also reference the landscape through photographs that “echo the attention to nature and location developed in the magazine’s illustrations and approach.” Speaking on the design process, Steph says “We selected a colour palette and half-tone dot photo effect that felt very fresh but also a little bit nostalgic, which seemed appropriate as the project was a reimagination of past issues and essays.”
The IFLA! Audiobooks Season One can be accessed on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud, as well as on the magazine’s website, where you can also purchase a copy of Issue 7.
It’s Freezing in LA! issue 7 front cover (Copyright © IFLA! 2021)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.