The Big Issue : Edition 513
32 20 YEARS OF THE BIG ISSUE 3 – 16 JUNE 2016 did other commissions and projects. Then Martin [Hughes] got in touch... James Braund, Big Issue stalwart and photographer for many Vendor Profiles EARLY DAYS OF THE SOCCER PROGRAM In a life where things are unstable, street soccer is pretty much the only thing that’s stable... Our coach, George [Halkias], gets carried away and runs us into the ground, but he’s good for morale. He’s not just the coach; he’s a friend, too. He gets involved with each player, always has time. He’s like a father figure to me. Brian, former Melbourne vendor, and Street Soccer participant The Big Issue is all about the vendors. It’s fuelled by their stories and their support for each other. They’re not fallen angels, not by a long stretch. Some are serial pests who can pierce my mood with a single barbed remark, others lift my spirits with an encouraging word or compliment... But regardless of their quirks and personalities, they all command respect. It takes courage to admit to the world that you’re in a bit of ajam,andtoaskforahandup. Martin Hughes, editorial Ed#250, March 2006 Three hundred – what a glorious number! It’s been a while since my last edition of this magazine, and not a fortnight goes by when I don’t remember the triumphs, tears, tantrums and heated arguments over whose turn it is to get coffee at deadline time. There are many more memories: raucous vendor meetings, power failures, late nights and no public holidays, edition sell-outs, sky-rocketing readership figures, embarrassing bloopers (“hop hop” is the new hip hop, apparently), numerous Homeless World Cup campaigns and vendor John B’s booming laugh, which you could hear clear across the Melbourne office’s courtyard and all the way upstairs in the editorial team’s office... Anastasia Safioleas, deputy editor 2004–07 and current proofreader, reflecting on 300 editions, 2008 We proudly produce a magazine that is unique, in that it is sold within the public realm of community life by our energetic team of vendors. In doing so, we embrace the meaningful exchange between reader and vendor. But herein lies one of our challenges: because our cover art and vendors have to compete with the hustle-and-bustle of daily street life, we have to be seen. A cover message has to be simple and direct. This is seldom easy, as Big Issue covers invariably address topics that are often neglected (or straight-out ignored) by mainstream media outlets. We are a proud independent publication that confidently asserts its unique position in an increasingly homogenised media environment. And while design and subject matter are important, it is the... determination of our vendors to spruik and sell what we produce that ultimately influences the success of any one cover and the edition it showcases. When I look back over past covers I can detect a profound, though not always clear, evolution of ideas and themes. I can see challenges faced, lessons learned and risks taken. Our covers are sometimes irreverent, sometimes indignant, sometimes blunt, but one thing is certain: they are never safe. Bretton Bartleet, art director, 2004–09, goes undercovers for Ed#300 LOOKING AHEAD We must never forget the purpose of The Big Issue. It has been, arguably, the best example of a social enterprise to have been initiated. Gordon Roddick’s original idea, to give homeless people access to an exclusive way to make money with dignity and success through hard work, must be at the forefront of the magazine’s direction. I would like to see any new ventures creating further social businesses which those who lack employment can access. But never forget the magazine. Keep it accessible, keep it fresh, keep it relevant. Keep it moving with the soul of society so it is never a pity purchase but a magazine our vendors are proud to sell. Graeme Wise It’s extraordinary to think of all that has happened – all the hours vendors have worked, all the pages that have been produced, all the lives that have been touched – since TBI was just a single desk and a good idea. Simon Castles Photographs can be very revealing – or deceptive. I want [their] portraits to represent them accurately and for vendors to be pleased with the results... Sometimes events can hit you: I had a great session a while back with a Melbourne vendor, Aaron, and his dog, Levi. I got a glimpse into how things were going with him. Then I heard Aaron had died. My photographs were used at his funeral. James Braund Over the years, we have marked milestones in different ways; some have sparked more hoopla than others. This time, it is tempting to say: and here’s to 500 more. And yet...ideally, there’d be no need for The Big Issue. There would be no need for anyone to sell a magazine on the streets to improve their circumstances and boost their income as well as self-esteem. Alan Attwood, editorial , Ed#500, December 2015 And now... Six months on. A major milestone: 20 years on the streets. Considerable hoopla. All of it well deserved. But the need is still there. Indeed, many would argue the need is greater than ever. It is estimated that more than 105,000 people in Australia are technically homeless on any given night. And Australia is supposedly the lucky country. Meanwhile, over the past decade, the magazine has published three cover stories on what we’ve called “The Great Divide” – the growing gulf between rich and poor. So The Big Issue story continues...