Issue 5, June 2020
12 things stripping taught me about stand-up comedy
The SPAD who can’t be, and other intolerable paradoxes
Women in theatre: what does today and tomorrow hold?
From Al to Zappa: can music be funny?
Achilles’ high heels: why TikTok is catnip for teenage girls
Delving into Wuxia: the intricacies and symbolism of costumes and cosplay in ancient Chinese fashion
"Normal People": why be normal when you could be happy?
Back to bread
The tragedy of the common black square
Also in this issue was a piece on techno-Utopianism by Chloe Whitmore.
Cover by Alessio Motto. Available to buy and read on Apple iBooks.
Hey there. How are you? I’ve had a bath. I’m now writing an introduction to Imperica Magazine issue 5, Campari and soda to my right hand, and Charlotte Gainsbourgh’s 5:55 in the ears. ”I saw somebody who /Reminded me of you / Before you got afraid / I wish that you could've stayed that way”.
It feels like absolutely ages since I wrote the introduction to issue 4. However, I’m pleased to see that we are continuing our frankly incredible streak of publishing magazines once a month. This time around, we welcome back some former contributors to Imperica, as well as say hello to some brand new talent with super-sharp brains.
Sam Moore returns with an analysis of Normal People, whose fuckfest caught the public’s... er... attention in recent months. Also returning is the polymath Siân Docksey, whose CV is probably as varied and interesting as her stories about the jobs on it. This time around, she talks about two of those: stripping and standup.
Also returning are Dan Peeke, asking whether humour exists in music; Malvika Padin, with a profound analysis of Wuxia culture and history; Lucrezia Lozza, whose fascinating dispatches from a locked-down Italy continue; and Chloe Whitmore, asking as to whether our retro-fascination with the 1990s could ever be more than a surface fascination. I was there, and have no further comment to make at this stage.
Music flows through the permeable rock of our age as Nicky Watkinson looks at two of the defining women of our age: Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. TikTok might be something of a response to Dan’s question on music and humour, given its veritable abundance of little visual sketches set to popular tunes. Ellie Fishleigh considers as to whether TikTok is a healthy pastime for its core audience.
Aoife Hanna offers up a comprehensive analysis of how women in the theatre sector are addressing the present and future impact lockdown. Finally, we have two thoughtful, deep, and tremendously rich analyses of contemporary politics: Rina Atienza talks about the significance of the black square, then and now. Rory Tregaskis throws the entire cultural kitchen sink at Dominic Cummings, the British government strategist whose alleged lockdown-breaking became the subject of ridicule a few weeks back.
So, here we are. Enjoy the magazine. “I read a magazine / That said by seventeen / Your life was at an end / I'm dead and I'm perfectly content”.