Introducing Foam Magazine #64: EXTREMES – The Environmental Issue
We are thrilled to announce the newest issue of Foam Magazine! EXTREMES—The Environmental Issue looks at the complexities of today’s human-nature relationship through two different lenses: one half focuses on abundance and the other half, featured on the flip side of the magazine, on scarcity. We invite readers to look from both extremes, while acknowledging that everything is interconnected.
About the issue
Industrialisation, overpopulation, consumerism versus scarcity, inequality, and the destruction of vital habitats: we address the divergences of the Anthropocene and how photography exposes them. One side of the magazine dives into the growth, the excess, the waste, the overproduction, the overconsumption that drive the Anthropogenic engine to continue grinding. The other side shows the impact, the disintegration, and the lack of connection to nature and native knowledge, capturing the decrease in different ways. The magazine serves as an agent and a messenger to raise awareness, reflection, and debate around a topic that is of the utmost importance to us all.
The magazine includes portfolios with compelling narratives of 16 remarkable artists and a splendid array of essays by thinkers and practitioners alike, such as Wanda Nanibush, Gem Fletcher and Gary Zhexi Zhang. Together, these essays dare to imagine a liveable planet in the future.
About the cover(s)
Including two opposing perspectives, read from the two different sides of the magazine, meant selecting not one, but two cover images. Representing the two extremities central to this issue—abundance and scarcity—the cover images invite the reader on a visual journey through these themes, meeting each other at the heart of the magazine.
Both thematically and visually, the chosen images aptly represent the theme they introduce. On the side of abundance, we see a visually rich and overwhelming digital collage from the series A Raiz Quadrada de Sete by Ventura Profana. The side of scarcity shows a visually scarce and bleached image from the series Change of Course by Prasiit Sthapit.
What do we see and how were these specific images selected?
A young man looks up, squinting his eyes and holding up his hand to block the sun. He is standing fully dressed in a cloudy, and what seems endless, body of water. The title of the image, Shafiq in the Narayani, offers us a name and a location: the Narayani River, one of the major rivers in Nepal, bordering India. A river that eats up large pieces of land each year due to climate change, directly affecting local villagers and their agricultural practice. In the series Change of Course, visual storyteller Prasiit Sthapit, based in Kathmandu, shows the large dependency of these communities on the environment for their means of living, as well as their subjection to the river's—and nature's—will.
Flipping to the other side—another person is looking up. Yet, in contrast to the solemn and quiet posture of Shafiq, this person tilts their head back and ecstatically cries out—their hands reenforcing the expressed feeling—whilst standing in a fictional landscape of satellite images, space probes and aerial views. With her work, Ventura Profana offers an abstract interpretation of the human motivation and urge for more—go higher, dive deeper, run faster, expand wider. Bringing together all sorts of images from the media, the resulting collages almost burst outside of the photographic frame, resembling the explosive—and destructive—power human beings put into the environment in order to build, grow and exist everywhere.
Katy Hundertmark, Foam Magazine managing editor:
"Choosing the cover for a new issue must be one of my favorite parts of the production process. It’s the moment when we solidify the vision behind our themes and get to create a sort of envelope around the many components inside. Choosing one cover that represents the theme, while also standing out on a bookshelf is hard enough – but choosing two, that not only reflect the concept behind each side of this split issue but also work well together, was an interesting task.
We wanted the covers to visually communicate contrasts, but also stand in conversation with each other to show the interconnection. After testing multiple options of this puzzle with our designers Hamid Sallali and Ayumi Higuchi we finally came to an unanimous vote, which led to the magazine you now see in stores.
We received the test prints a few days before I went to Arles for The Rencontres d'Arles photography festival, and while I was there I laid them out on the ground, observing them in different light situations. It struck me how there is not only a play with perspective, one image shot from above, one constructed from below, but also with balance. In combination the covers stand for a disbalance in the environment, which is exactly what we are addressing on the inside."
Contributing artists & writers
Aàdesokan, alejandro t. acierto, asinnajaq, Atmos, Bahadır Aksan, Vince Aletti, Alia Ali, Atikah Zata Amani, Wolff Architects, Taco Hidde Bakker, Mattia Balsamini, Zeus Bascon, Guy Bell, Rebecca Belmore, Sandra Benites, Andrea Bowers, Matthew Brandt, Ben Burbridge, Anna Burckhardt, Marina Caneve, Tehillah De Castro, Carolina Caycedo, Sara Cwynar, Solmaz Daryani, Peter Delpeut, Ci Demi, Demet Yıldız Dinçer, Rehab Eldalil, Anahita Ghabaian Etehadieh, Muhammad Fadli, Gem Fletcher, Chandra Frank, Maria Fusco, Ariel Goldberg, Maureen Gruben, Sunil Gupta, Alexandra Rose Howland, Katy Hundertmark, Amanda Iheme, Michael Salu, Miranda July, kablusiak, Nadine Khalil, Volkan Kızıltunç, Kim Knoppers, Mirjam Kooiman, Czar Kristoff, abigail Campos Leal, Pablo Lerma, Danilo Lovisi, Liz Lund, Natacha de Mahieu, Erin McFadyen, Ana Mendieta, Aya Musa, Renée Mussai, Wanda Nanibush, Sinna Nasseri, Shelley Niro, Anne Nwakalor, Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Zohra Opoku, Dan Paz, Planetary Portals, Ventura Profana, Farah Al Qasimi, Diwas Raja Kc, Breno Rotatori, Gerco de Ruijter, Anastasia Samoylova, Sevim Sancaktar, Adelia Dinda Sani, Yusuf Sevinçli, Sunil Shah, Eugenie Shinkle, Charan Singh, Himali Singh Soin, Prasiit Sthapit, Daria Tuminas, Alastair Philip Wiper, Gary Zhexi Zhang.
Order Foam Magazine #64: EXTREMES
Foam Magazine has been awarded several prizes for both its high-grade graphic design and the quality of its content. Most recently, Foam Magazine was awarded Photography Magazine of the Year at the Lucie Awards 2017 and 2019.
Foam Magazine is an international photography magazine, published two times a year by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.
Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.