”Celebration” is the theme for issue #10 of Riposte – and rightly so. Making it into double figures is no mean feat for an independent magazine, particularly one as challenging, hard-hitting, and generally unorthodox as Riposte. Standing out amidst a homogenising onslaught of predictable clickbait and glossy weeklies, the biannual edited by its founder Danielle Pender has continued to live up to its claim as ”A smart magazine for women”, drawing readers around the world with its anarchic take on contemporary womanhood.
For this issue, to salute the past five years of publication, Riposte has commissioned three unique covers from photographers Steph Wilson, Izumi Miyazaki, and Devyn Galindo, all on the theme of celebration. ”Steph’s cover is a major highlight,” says the magazine’s designer and art director Shaz Madani. ”In fact, it’s probably one of my all-time favourite covers that we’ve made. There is nothing more beautiful and powerful than the start of a new life and motherhood to mark our celebratory tenth issue.”
“As the role of women in society broadens and expands the media has to evolve and reflect that” – Danielle Pender
Within the magazine itself, issue #10 challenges conventional discourses on femininity by turning a celebratory lens on female masturbation, childbirth, and the Duchess of York's scandalous toe. As Pender explains, ”print is a real-time out from the relentlessness and monotony of online life. The people making magazines are creatively pushing new ideas away from the limitations of what you can do online and how long people will pay attention to you.”
”As the role of women in society broadens and expands the media has to evolve and reflect that but it doesn’t,” she continues. ”There’s very little nuance or straying away from very safe and obvious topics. I’m still blown away when I pick up some of the mainstream titles that are apparently more diverse, or more switched on now. They’re still trash, but with a different masthead.”
Key to Pender and Madani's ascendance as voices in the world of women’s publications, is the diverse and imaginative range of interviews featured in their magazine; issue #10 will include conversations with rapper Princess Nokia, Dazed 100 choreographer Holly Blakey, filmmaker Crystal Moselle, author Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Google Creative Labs creative director Tea Uglow.
Riposte will also go out on the town to commemorate the tenth issue of its publication, as a series of summer events have been planned to take place in London, New York, Berlin and Amsterdam. A new Riposte podcast will later be launched and there will be a full autumn/winter event series before issue #11 comes out in October.