by Charlie Fabre
It was a tough decision deciding what the theme of our second issue should be, but we believed this theme had a multitude of possibilities and we can’t wait to share the issue with you.
It’s never easy to think of a theme for an Issue. With Issue 1 it was ‘Water’, and that was pretty straight forward: we’re named Swim Press, and both of our founders are very close to water, so it made sense. But for the second issue there was a little more trouble. As a theme, you want to pick something that isn’t too specific, but also not too vague. It has to be something that a lot of people can relate to and find an angle for, and something wide enough that not all submissions will be the same.
We had a few in mind (we won’t tell you because maybe they’ll be used in the future…) but ultimately we settled on ‘Bodies’.
Personally, I write about bodies a lot – one of the main themes of my work, or motifs that pop up a lot, is the changing body and the perception of the body, specifically female. Whether I intend to or not, I always find myself describing the body in very vivid and visceral ways, and though I hate watching body modifications in horror movies, I incorporate it into my texts all the time.
Bodies are also something that are so often discussed in the media today in terms of illness, sexuality, pregnancy, and the gaze placed upon it in general. We felt that Issue 2 of Swim Press could be a timely issue that related to all the discussions on bodies in the media today.
We really loved this theme because it offers so much variety (which is reflected in the issue). Men and women have different relationships with their bodies and therefore different views on it, so already that alone offers so many pathways to explore. But then we can talk about the aesthetic body, accepting it for how it looks, and loving it. We can talk about the functional, or ‘non-functional’ body in terms of illness or pregnancy. Or it doesn’t even have to be a human body at all, it can be about the vast body of space and the stars above, it can be the spiritual body of a deity one believes in, or, going back to our roots, in can be the body of water or some other natural element and all its power.
When it came to putting together our shortlist and deciding which pieces to feature, we had a really hard time, because so many pieces were original and spoke to the theme in such interesting ways. Ultimately, though, we are so proud of our shortlist and the issue we’ve put together, and we’ve taken care to select a variety of pieces (and photographs and artworks) that lay out the theme in all directions.
We’re so excited for you all to read it! Pre-orders for Issue 2: Bodies, opens tomorrow, Monday May 16th at 12pm (UK time), so get your copy in time!
Cover image via Pinterest.