Hello there, this is Nina Rapi, playwright, short story writer and Founding Editor of BRAND Literary Magazine. These are some of my multiple identities anyhow… The biggest news right now is ‘happy endings’: after a successful five-year run, BRAND is celebrating at the end of May its 7th and last issue! Why you may ask. I could answer it is the end of a cycle, a natural completion and I certainly feel that way.
However, the fact that the editorial stuff worked unpaid and the minimum funding we’ve had which paid for printing, designing and some admin costs, was stretched beyond stretching point and now totally depleted, is another major factor. The ongoing battle between print and pixel is another one. And of course there is the wider context: three other literary magazines stopped circulating this past year: SUCCOUR, CHROMA, TRESSPASS. This can’t be just a coincidence.
On one level this situation is to be lamented. On the other, I believe in optimism of will, in ‘problem equals solution’ (Euripides), in ‘not what is but what is possible’ & ‘Crisis is the essential condition of art forms’ (Howard Barker). So part of me feels a huge relief that so much extra unpaid work is now off my shoulders and all this time and energy can go into my writing. The other restless, I-love-literary-magazines part, is already planning with my fellow soldier Cherry Smyth, a possible online presence. But not for a while, not until our energies are recouped and our vision is refocused. Not until it’s clear to us how you can survive as an independent magazine and not get burnout in the process.
Another ‘happy ending’ is that after many eventful, creative, exciting years in London, I’m moving to Athens – for a while at least. This could be said to be connected to the ending of BRAND but the decision to end BRAND was taken before the decision to move to Athens. It is however something that makes me feel that it’s all very much a syncronicity that calls for new beginnings. So here it is: to NEW BEGINNINGS!