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Spring brings plenty of local lit and wit 

Spring's here, the future's bright. Seems like the whole Triangle has been setting type, banging with Photoshop, and keeping it real, in a good print-media way.

Daylight Magazine is gorgeous. Just eight by eight, perfect for your backpack, but designed for your living room, this magazine has the classic look of an early DoubleTake. Co-editors Taj Forer and Mike Itkoff explain that their magazine "is dedicated to exploring the genre of documentary photography. In an era that questions the role of "objectivity" in journalism and art, Daylight Community Arts Foundation is particularly interested in art-based work that embraces the social impact of documentation."

Four contributing photographers cover such diverse subjects as the invisible victims of the World Trade Center attacks--the dishwashers, food servers and messengers whose "off the books" jobs weren't noticed in the first glare of media coverage. Jen Szymaszek's photographs and testimonials from surviving family members make visible the overlooked victims. The full color portraits are very real, very simple, very honest.

Alec Soth's spare photographs of off-road scenes from canoe trips on the Lower Mississippi River are like still-life dream pictures. Sara Gomez uses her black and white photographs from India to pull a distant reality closer. Photographing moments of love, compassion and happiness, Gomez writes, "I wanted to create photographs that would make a person feel closer to the person they saw in the photograph, not farther away."

In the same premiere issue of Daylight, Tom Rankin explores wilderness and wildness with photographs of very rural Delta life, and people very comfortable living there, surrounded in the bottom lands by deer heads and outdoor sinks.

Fifteen thousand copies of the first issue of Editor Dani Nation's new monthly magazine The Raleigh Hatchet arrive next week. Its mission: "To be funny and to tell the truth, with occasional embellishments." Look for lots of arts (and humor) coverage from "an ugly and irreverent, lean and hungry" editorial staff. Nation was a contributing writer for Lather and former Raleigh City Council candidate-journalist.

Adding to the paper's mission, Nation writes, "On the backs of Triangle toilet tanks, we will be on the top of the pile."

A dozen columns are planned in each issue. Check these out; Consumer Hero, Artfag, Notes from the Interweb, Rock Lyric Crypto-quotes, Yes I Did! First Person Experience, and Hot Hot Hometown Fashion. Gonna be fun.

The second issue of a Duke student freebie hit the off-campus streets this week. Matter matters! Their theme? "All Durham. All the time." With a uniquely undergrad perspective, Matter discovers (and interviews the owner!) of the biggest washing machine in town and offers several pretty funny advice columns in their feature, "What's the Matter?" Matter samples a chili milkshake, hangs with the Ms. Film Festival and checks out the "safest" place to leave a laptop.

I know. I know. You gotta run. Hold up. Just two more zine tips-of-the-month. No. 1. Get over to UNC this weekend for the "Beats in Americas: Alternative Visions Then and Now" conference at Wilson Library. Panel discussions, talks, exhibits. The Rare Book Collection will be displaying hundreds of small, avant-garde periodicals from the '50s and '60s. If the two words "City Lights" mean anything to you...

Tip No. 2. Not to stop the Crusade or anything, but the cover of this month's Nest magazine is All That. Taking Mel Gibson at his word, the issue is subtitled, "Decorating for the Christian Home." The Table of Contents is in Stations-of-the-Cross motif order, their color codes are all named for "Christian Chic" hues.

And what about that rumor that Danger Mouse is getting into publishing?

  • www.daylightmagazine.org
  • dani@raleighhatchet.com
  • mattereditors@yahoo.com
  • www.lib.unc.edu/beatsconf

    Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at ajcg@acpub.duke.edu

    More by John Valentine


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