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GUT Magazine, Issue 4
GUT Magazine, Issue 4Photography by Roxanne Lee

The new issue of GUT magazine shines a spotlight on sin

With a focus on death and the underworld, see an exclusive preview here

For a magazine still technically in its infancy years, centring an entire issue around “Death & the Underworld” feels like a bold step. However, for GUT magazine, it’s a natural progression from the previous themes of magic and food

Issue 4 pushes the alt magazine away from past issues, which looked to “create a world that the reader can step into”. Indeed, this new issue is not concerned with creating a world, but visualising our existing world and all that is associated with it in new, exciting ways.

First, there is “death” – the unknowable moment in life that most people fear. For Ami Evelyn Hughes – who co-founded GUT with Georgia Kemball – death is not a scary abyss but a subject of wonder. “Death does not frighten me,” she explains over email. “I wanted to represent (death) in all its fear and glory. So in this issue, we have dark aspects such as murder and accidental death, right through to reincarnation and possession.” Issue 4’s more magical qualities of re-incarnation and possession tie in with Hughes’ own “fascination with old magic and medieval representations of hell”.

“I wanted to represent (death) in all its fear and glory” – Ami Evelyn Hughes

The issue is also preoccupied with the “underworld” – an unreal, metaphorical place which has always been very real in human consciousness, courtesy of myth and legend. Conventionally, the underworld is associated with circles of fire, sin, and, more generally, negativity. GUT disturbs this convention, depicting the underworld in terms of “sexual sub-cultures” that are made up of “transvestite brides, vintage imagery of men dressing beautifully for their fantasy weddings, Jessie (known as “The Clapham Trani”) and her manifesto on modern culture, including images she took of herself photoshopped into mundane locations”.

GUT’s underworld unmasks human experience in a refreshingly uncompromising way. What is exposed through this process is a world of possibility, where identity can be forged and changed. Don’t be fooled – the nightmarish quality associated with the term ‘underworld’ is still there (Issue 4 has images of “dangerous demons”) but it’s all painted on with unapologetic, wild energy.

In this way, Hughes celebrates misfits and sinners with the help of her contributors, which include Harry Freegard, and Dilara Findakoglu, to name a few. All have created fearless features that foreground the dark otherness that’s related to the underworld. Roxy Lee shot Daniel Sallstrom as Lilith, a figure in mythology, who steals babies in the darkness. Then there’s Benedict Brink, who has visualised all the characters from the underworld, and Joshua Gordon, who has taken some powerful portraits of Harriet, an Essex dominatrix.

In order to print issue 4, GUT need as many pre-orders as possible. Please pre-order issue 4 here