For this issue of SLEEK, covered by Martin Parr, we wanted to research the idea of walls – the impact of borders, real and imagined. As a no-deal Brexit seems increasingly likely, the UK is becoming an isolated entity and across the world, borders are being created both physically and culturally — from the US-Mexican border to Europe — walls from past to present are on our minds.
In November, Germany will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the barrier that separated the city into East and West for 28 years. In The Fall of the Wall, Sirin Kale looks at how the end of the Cold War influenced club culture in the German capital, while in Photographing The Border with Griselda San Martin, Ayesha A. Siddiqi speaks to the photographer dedicated to depicting an alternative to the mainstream media lens on the US-Mexican border crisis.
We also wanted to look at the cultural divisions from the past that are still active today. How have these barriers transformed national cultures? In A new fashion trade route between Israel and Palestine, SLEEK Senior Writer Angela Waters speaks to Palestinian and Israeli garment makers in her profile on Adish, the Israeli-Palestinian fashion brand attempting to create new business trade routes across the Israeli-Palestinian border.
In her regular column, Chris Kraus discusses the public takedown of women writers in relation to Mary McCarthy; Turkish author, Aysegül Savas, pens a short story in Turkish and English, and for this issue’s cabinet, Francesca Allen photographs ‘it’ model Tin Gao.
Finally, Billie JD Porter’s essay on conspicuous consumption analyses the impact of social media from a new angle; examining the class divides created by influencer marketing, using research which explores how this creates a new class border: “At a time where the issue of poverty is so misunderstood and misrep- resented, we have a responsibility to make efforts to improve the state of the conversation,” says Porter. Porter argues that in times of economic austerity and crisis these issues are exacerbated – a sentiment encapsulating the subject of this issue.