The Age of Craziness —
Continuing with the reinvigorated sense of protest and resistance in evidence in the previous issue, Dazed & Confused offers its ‘Global Activism’ issue. Drenched in politicized iconography, it is most definitely a case of Dazed, once again, standing out from the field of glossy titles. It’s an intriguing and curious affair: try to imagine an editorial team with a background in luxury fashion occupying the offices of Index on Censorship.
No doubt, it will raise much debate. Inevitably, there will be those disgruntled politicos that inherently abhor fashion, luxury goods and all other frivolities of rich consumer societies criticising its lack of depth on the issues at hand or bleating about “missing the point”. They would be wrong. For decades now, those within the fields of activism and politics have whinged on about the need to engage the cynical younger generations and largely failed dismally in their naff attempts to appropriate youth culture to their causes. The irony is that this issue proves that if anyone could get spoiled western youth to stop and think about the harsh realities of Ai Wei Wei’s situation in China, what it takes to resist the military junta in Burma or the convictions of young activists around the world, it’s Dazed & Confused.
Speaking with genuine conviction to younger generations that implicitly trust it – largely because it shares their ‘guilt’ in liking expensive clothes or doesn’t judge them as worthless for getting trolleyed at parties- the reality is that this issue is exactly what all those politically committed voices could only have dreamed of achieving with a younger generation to whom their worldview seemed outmoded. And even if it doesn’t last forever, at least a great number of younger readers will have stopped to think about the global picture.
Mirroring the mood of the concept, the visuals are similarly imbued with revolutionary chic, from Ben Toms’ fashion shoot that turns trendy fashion into an ethnographic nod to the usual theatres of oppression and conflict to Dan Budnik’s neglected seminal documentary reportage. Top marks in the visuals department definitely go to Lina Scheynius’ fashion story. You’ve already been warned that the hippies will be staging a fashion takeover in the coming months, but this shoot proves that not all hippies are equal. Imagine Maddy Prior doing the soundtrack for an Asian remake of the original ‘Wicker Man’ and you’ll come somewhere close.