What we do

Contra is a not-for-profit independent publication that considers the relationship between visual culture and conflict. Published annually, each issue takes a theme related to conflict and considers its role in visual culture both past and present.

Conflict informs the work of many artists, photographers and other visual practitioners. In an era in which images are increasingly ubiquitous and have the ability to shape public opinion, it is important to analyse the way we perceive conflict. Our aim at Contra is to give space to and question these intersections in print and through an ongoing events programme.



In print

Issue 01, titled Displacement, looks at the visual response to current and past migrations. Published in January 2018, it features contributors including dancer-choreographer Akram Khan, photographer Harley Weir and research agency Forensic Architecture, who were nominated for the 2018 Turner Prize.

Issue 02, Protest, published in April 2019, explores how visual culture engages with and reacts to different forms of resistance. Featuring contributors including Kara Walker, Olafur Eliasson, Santiago Sierra, Seamus Murphy and Raqs Media Collective, it poses questions such as: What defines protest and how does it relate to visual culture? How powerful is art as an enactor of social change? And what does the future hold for protest as a visual language?



Events

We run an ongoing events programme that expands on the themes explored in print. These events take the form of film screenings, panel discussions, exhibitions, talks, artist residencies and more. Keep posted on our social media channels for news about what’s coming up.



Who we are

We are a group of passionate volunteers with a varied background in publishing, events, filmmaking and research. The idea to form Contra derived from a shared interest in representations of conflict and a belief that accessible critical analysis of this topic is missing within everyday encounters with media.


Our team

Ben Bohm-Duchen
George Brodie
Shivani Hassard
Alexander Morrison

Design by Our Place

Distributed by Antenne Books



Press

“Through the combination of captivating photo essays and insights
into the thoughts of well-known creatives, Contra Journal utilises
art and design to create a platform that communicates stories and
champions unheard voices”
It’s Nice That

“Numerous new art publications pop up every year, and some
stand out more than others. Contra… certainly has a USP”
The Art Newspaper

“Issue 01 of Contra was one of our favourite launches last year”
Stack

“I was really impressed by the way Contra drills down into the
issues it covers and looks at them from a human perspective,
resulting in content that has a real resonance.”
Maurice Wren,
Chief Executive, Refugee Council

An in-depth interview with the Contra founders published by Dazed can be found here.


Stockists

Antonio Brizioli [Perugia]
Artwords Bookshop Limited [Broadway Mkt]
Artwords Bookshop Limited [Rivington St]
Athenaeum Boekhandel [Amsterdam]
Basheer Graphic Books [Singapore]
Chandal [Barcelona]
Do You Readme?! GbR [Berlin]
Foyles Bookshop [Magazines]
GLOW SYSTEM S.R.L. [Kajet]
Homestead Store
Housman's Bookshop Ltd
Magalleria [Bath] [MCCABE DK]
MagCulture [London EC1]
Magma [Covent Garden]
Magma [Manchester]
Manifesto-Associacao [Porto]
Materia Prima [P-4050-381 PORTO]
Mosto Laden
Multi-Arts Corporation [Taipei]
Papercut (Stockholm Delivery Address C/O
Rails London Ltd (Delivery)
Rainbow News
Rare Mags
Reading Room / Francesca Spiller
Rosa Wolf [Berlin]
Skylight Books
Stack C/o Bethany Ajebon
Tate Modern [Turbine Shop]
Tender Books
Village Bookstore [Leeds]

To get in touch, drop us an email or follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay in the loop.

Representations of Migration and Displacement: Panel Discussion

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Join us for a discussion of representations of migration, displacement and conflict across visual media, contemporary art, journalism, photography, documentary and more. We are delighted to host some fantastic speakers, including Maurice Wren, Eugenie Dolberg, Dima Karout and Nadia Atia. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session with questions from the audience. Join us afterwards for a drink in the SOAS bar!

For more than thirty years Maurice Wren has worked to support migrants and refugees. He has been the Chief Executive of the Refugee Council since March 2013. Prior to this he worked as a Director in the homelessness and refugee protection fields at charities Shelter and Asylum Aid. Maurice Wren co-founded the ground-breaking Independent Asylum Commission in 2007, Detention Forum in 2009, and also chairs UK Refugee Week.

Eugenie Dolberg is a photographer and photojournalist. Her participatory photography project, Open Shutters, trained women from all over Iraq to share their experience of war and occupation using photography and writing. This enabled them to document and bear witness to their own experiences, challenging interpretation and representation of events by Western media, and allowing them to take ownership of their own stories.

Nadia Atia is a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London. Her work has explored how the First World War shaped British perceptions of Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) in the early twentieth century. Her current research examines Britain’s ever-evolving relationship with Iraq, and the ways in which Iraq and its people are represented in contemporary Iraqi literature available in the UK.

Dima Karout is a visual artist and educator. She has worked on a range of projects relating to migration. Her work investigates the evolution of identity beyond borders, internal and external conflicts, the metaphor of home, and the relation between people and places. In her exhibitions and classes, she advocates for socially engaged art. Dima is currently the artist/curator in residence at the Migration Museum.

Date: 15.11.18

Time: 7pm-9pm

Venue: SOAS, Room SALT - Paul Webley Wing (Senate House North Block)

Tickets £5 / £10 including a copy of Contra Issue 01
https://billetto.co.uk/e/representations-of-migration-and-displacement-a-panel-discussion-tickets-317756

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