Kiloran ~ A Note On Issue #4...

By Lucy Harbron - 12:56

If I don’t ramble on about it enough, in the summer of 2015, I started an online magazine called Kiloran. I set it up as a result of a lot of boredom. I was at a point where I felt like I was just waiting around for things to happen and opportunities to be handed to me, I’d always dreamt of editing a magazine but I was just waiting for it. Then I got bored of that and decided to start being proactive and do it, because even if I failed I could mark it down as a first attempt, and it might look good on a uni application (it did).

I think, in all honesty, I’m still in disbelief that it didn’t fail, and yeah it hasn’t ‘taken off’ and we’re not a huge operation but lately I’ve had to pinch myself a lot. Kiloran is a project that I’m completely in love with, which seems weird to say as its mine, but I often feel like even if it wasn’t I’d love it just as much, is that egocentric? I’m so proud of myself for building something like that, I built something I would love to have, I made it myself.

Here are some big moments that have happened recently for Kiloran-

  • ·         We’ve exceeded 100,000 page views. And that keeps going up and up as we now get around 2000 views per week. May seem small to some, everything to me.
  • ·         The magazine gets recognition and is supported by the band who’s song it’s named after. This week I published an interview with them on the Kiloran blog and proceeded to cry for about 2 hours just out of pure pride and excitement.
  • ·         Issue 4 is being released tomorrow. This thing I built has been going on for 4 issues, almost 2 years and people are still interested and excited about it.
  • ·         A piece I published on the site about female safety got over 10,000 views in 2 days and I still don’t know how.
  • ·         We re-branded and I feel like a new life has been breathed into the project that’s letting me think more about a future for it.

Before the release tomorrow, I wanted to just talk about it. I've never really given a proper commentary on the project or an issue before, but 4 issues in, I think it's time to!

A note on being a ‘girl boss’

I’ve blogged since I was around 13/14 and I’ve been writing since I can remember. But I stagnate so easily. I often find myself completely disillusioned with blogging which is probably evident in my absences on here, but honestly I find it quite isolating. You work with no one but yourself and often you get no acknowledgement that anyone is even paying attention, I struggle with that a lot. I need to be surrounded by creativity and creatives to feel completely enthralled by what I’m doing, so I always wanted a team operation. That’s one of the main reasons for the launch of Kiloran, I wanted a team and I wanted to create something that didn’t make me feel selfish or lonely. And now, Kiloran is a team of people that all completely inspire me. I'm constantly in awe of the work I'm set, and how supportive everyone is of ideas and each other's work.I couldn't ask for better.

For some, the thought of leading and organising a group of people, setting deadlines and stuff like that, seems like the most awful thing in the world, and at first it was. I was nervous to ask for things, but 4 issues in I feel like I’ve grown so much as an editor and a leader (also the ego boost of having ‘girl boss’ in my social media bios is my favourite thing ever.) Although Kiloran is super super chill, like you email me and I reply with “want to be added to the group chat?”, lately I’ve definitely started feeling like the ‘boss’ of something and this issue I really looked at the editing as my job. I gave this issue way more of my time, I pushed my limits with design and IT work, and challenged myself to learn more and do more myself. As a result of that and the help of our web designer Josh Verdon, we step into this issue with a re-branded site, a cohesive PDF issue and I think an all-round better flowing issue. And I'm so so glad I give it that time. One huge difference between blogging and a project like Kiloran, is that it's no longer just your work to do justice to. And I think issue 4, and the changes done to the site, gives full, proper justice to all the pieces in the issue. 

When I tell people about the project, a lot of people comment on the amount of responsibility and effort that must be to run it all, but honestly I love it. I love reading everything and sorting through all these incredible pieces that I’m privileged enough to share and give a platform to, and honestly I feel honoured that people chose to share their work with the project. Doing something you love should never feel like unnecessary or unwanted effort. Kiloran is  my favourite thing to do.

A note on issue 4

Picking a theme for the issue is the hardest thing ever as I try to give as little prompt as possible. When I started the mag I wanted it to be a free space for creatives, I knew I didn’t want to give deadlines, I just wanted to let people make whatever they wanted to or needed to. I think I struggled so much theming issue 4 as I loved looooooved issue 3 – body- so so much. The level of honesty in issue 3 completely shattered my heart and was easily my fave issue so far, so it’s been a lot of pressure trying to come up with something to top that. I played around with a lot of ideas, and eventually settled on the theme of ‘the past’ after the observation that all my work is written in past or future tense, never present. I wanted something much broader as a theme for this issue that could spill into every aspect of art and culture, and every possible aspect of life like relationships, politics, the self etc etc. But honestly, at the time the theme seemed almost irrelevant when I decided on it in November time. And that’s what’s made issue 4 so interesting to make, the closer to release we’ve got, the more relevant it’s become. And now the idea of ‘the past’, strangely, is almost confrontational in it's relevance in the context of Trump, Brexit, social ideas of issues like nationality, patriotism, immigration, woman’s rights etc. 2017 should be so progressive, we should be enjoying unrivalled freedoms that past generations dreamed off, fought for. But instead I feel like we’re stood on a boundary right between 1950 and some sort of scary, strange dystopian 1984-esqe future. And as much as I hate that and I’m scared for us all, I love how the issue has grown in light of that. Two days ago some protest photos were added last minute to the issue. Issue 4 is real time, and I love that. I love the contradiction of it all; how the past issue has ended up being the most present.

But also, issue 4 really taught me something about emotion, and has led me to the question – is experience or emotion ever really in the past? When given the brief – ‘write something about the past’ – so many people, including myself, dived deep into a lost love, an on-going question about identity, a trauma, a realisation. But they wrote with a conviction and a passion that can be nothing but burning and present. And even if the subject matter is in the past, can emotions ever really fade like that? Or are they just pushed behind other things, easily retrievable but less confrontational. Who knows.

Issue 3 was a comfort to me. It stood as a conformation that what I felt and experienced was not isolated, and I found solitude in the honest of others and how their inner-most thoughts and opinion on their body matched my own. Whereas issue 4 never granted me that. It has filled me full of questions; it has unsettled me with its realism, its presence. Issue 4 is a question mark, an ellipsis…

I hope you love it like I do.

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  1. Incredibly proud of you Lucy, your hard work is admirable!

    Nabeela x


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