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A Magazine for the Curious: Exploring Youth with STAPLE

In this age between youth and adulthood, the world can be an intense and overwhelming experience that excites yet confuses. STAPLE Magazine was birthed out of these meandering conversations and nagging questions about the world. Officially launched on 2 September 2016, this socio-cultural magazine aims to be a platform for alternative voices addressing these questions, most of which are underrepresented in mainstream media.

Editor-in-Chief Clara Lee introducing their exhibition at the magazine launch. Photo courtesy of Colossal Photos, Jared Rezel.
Clara Lee (Editor-in-Chief) introducing their exhibition, A Curious Thing, at the magazine launch. Photo courtesy of Colossal Photos, Jared Rezel.

“We hope to present diverse opinions on the topics we explore. In this post-Internet age, a lot of the information we receive come from digital channels like Facebook, which are determined by algorithms… This creates a cold and insular environment for the circulation of knowledge.”

“We want to amuse our readers and hopefully spark a thought like, ‘Ah, I never thought I would have enjoyed this or learned about this’ when they read the magazine.”

Their pilot issue, Dizziness of Youth, was born out of the experience of the magazine’s own founders. At age 20, the four friends  decided to start this magazine when they were each transitioning through different phases of their lives.

“Being friends from the start, we have been sharing our experiences of growing up with each other. Through the conversations we realised how fundamentally similar (or different) we can be yet different (or similar) in contexts and perspectives. Its elusiveness intrigues us deeply.”

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The magazine was put together via an open call both locally and internationally. While the founders decline to play favourites with their submissions, they were definitely surprised by the volume and depth of content from the international open call, mostly directed through universities and other tertiary institutions. One piece that stood out for them was a submission from a student in East London. “The piece he wrote explores growing up from a cultural perspective. As a Bangladeshi-British, his experiences as a teen stretch far from the conventional Euro-centric narrative of youth.”

 

 

At the end I asked a question that leans towards the personal – what dizziness did they themselves experience in their youth?

“Not sure if we can answer this as we are still hungover from it. All of us see the magazine as a way to better understand the world we live in. Therefore the topics we choose to tackle in each of our issue are questions we have about the world, such as the dizziness of youth or objects of delight, which is the theme of our second issue. With it we hope to explore what causes an inanimate thing to give its onlooker, wearer, user, receiver or creator a sense of gratification.”

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STAPLE is published bi-annually and retails for SGD28. You can purchase the magazine at BooksActually, Magpie Magazines and EOMM. Check out more about the magazine on their Facebook page here.

Sara Lau
Sara is currently a second-year Sociology and Southeast Asian Studies major. Her interests consist of writing, analogue photography, craft-making, art and theatre. She is nice to people most of the time.