The Eurozine conference on “Changing Media – Media in Change” from 13-16 May 2011 brought fresh insights to debates on the future of journalism, intellectual property and free speech, and made one thing very clear: independent cultural journals are where reflexion and criticality combine with changing media strategies.
Three strokes of luck
Gaby Zipfel, editor of “Mittelweg 36” and pioneer of Eurozine, came to the European Meeting of European Cultural Journals in 1992 expecting to be the only woman among seasoned male professionals. And so she was – but that didn’t matter.
For the last seventeen years now I have looked forward every two months to the publication of the journal Mittelweg 36, whose editor I am. In retrospect, I have three extraordinarily fortunate circumstances to thank for this. The decision of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research to produce its own journal received a mixed reception from fellow staff members at the time. Thomas Neumann (who has sadly since passed away) had developed an idea for a journal that took a rather unconventional approach to conventional academic practices and discourses. It was to communicate the discussion within the institute to an interested academic public, drawing on various other genres: imagery, art, literature and architecture, and investigative journalism. The aim was and is to provoke debate, to be a forum that brings together authors of various provenance. The idea has, I believe, been retained, and I’m lucky to have been able to implement it from the outset.
When a handful of editors of European Cultural Journals first got together in 1983, they could not have imagined that the network they had initiated would still be going strong 25 years later. Network veterans look back on the history of a community that has endured. Samuel Abrahám George Blecher Olivier Corpet Klaus Nellen Johan Öberg Gaby Zipfel
Network veterans look back
Being part of the gang
Neither an editor nor a European
Editors of all countries
Thesis, antithesis, prosthesis
Three strokes of luck
When a handful of editors of European Cultural Journals first got together in 1983, they could not have imagined that the network they had initiated would still be going strong 25 years later. Network veterans look back on the history of a community that has endured.
The annual meetings in different European cities led to year-round professional contact and step by step became more formal and organized, developing the potential of the group without in any way diminishing its informal capital. At first hesitantly, yet to an increasing degree, eastern European colleagues became involved. Viewpoints and horizons of experience were broadened. This process, though not always smooth, was always productive. The network of amicably disposed colleagues, in which the tiresome self-promotion often found elsewhere played no role, also proved impressively productive in the East-West dialogue.
Increasingly, new media began to challenge classical print media, a challenge experienced thoroughly ambivalently. The network decided to go online and to set up its own web journal – Eurozine. Thanks to the network’s experience in searching for ways to turn linguistic, cultural, political, and habitual differences to its advantage and in opening up new routes of communication, these ambivalences never became blockades. The decision to launch the online journal was the third stroke of luck in my professional life. For a number of years now, I’ve had the pleasure of being an editorial board member of Eurozine. The profits of this to my print journal, Mittelweg 36, have been enduring.
Published 24 September 2008
Original in German
© Gaby Zipfel / EurozinePDF/PRINT
“Histories” means many things, but above all that the history written in western Europe does not necessarily coincide with the one the eastern Europeans are trying to write, observes Biancamaria Bruno in her essay about her first visit to the Lithuanian capital.