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DAMN° #87

DAMN° #87

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DAMN° is an independent quarterly print magazine and digital platform that explores opinions on contemporary culture.

In this issue:

DAMN° just turned TWENTY and in keeping with our support for daring creatives willing to destroy and rethink culture, we are proud to present the PROVOCATEUR issue.

This anniversary issue weaves a thread through all cultural disciplines from design, architecture and art through to fashion, photography, graphics and performance.

In any era to make a meaningful contribution to the bigger political picture, creatives must be bold — willing to brave the wrath of social media outrage and cancel-culture warriors… to not conform to the mainstream, to polite society, or to any prevailing trend. And in our current era as attacks are wielded from both ‘sides’ in the ongoing culture wars, artists must dare — dare to resist, to be rude, to disobey, to be wild, shameless, and even sometimes wrong.

We hear how leading names from Wim Wenders and Miranda July to Nick Cave, Jerszy Seymour and Pavels Hedström sit with this current polarized climate. Gracing our Provocateur issue is Stefan Sagmeister who first dressed DAMN° way back in issue 5. His entire graphic career has been about confronting social norms, and unravelling in a generous and sympathetic way inevitable human challenges like consumerism and happiness.

In the issue we also dare to discuss the horrific battle playing out in Gaza. DAMN° regular Matthew Longo offers a sensitive and brave account of how as a Jewish man he grapples with the controversial battle-cry, “From the River to The Sea” in the Palestine rallies he attends.

Of course there is always the need to separate the brave artistic provocateur and the Twitter troll pumping out clickbait. Artists are activists, albeit with a contempt for cliches and with a vision to emphasise an alternative set of values. They confront and inspire change, they open doors to new possibilities, and they provoke us to see the world anew.

At their best, artistic provocateurs are disruptive agents. They operate on the fringes of convention and provoke their viewers to question their assumptions and beliefs while they themselves engage with deeper, often uncomfortable ideas. This part — the position they are willing to push themselves into — is paramount, and makes all the difference because true provocateurs are rarely anonymous.

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