Pantograph Punch is over its cute phase. We're entering puberty. Our Editor Ataria Sharman shares an exciting new publishing model and what's next for the site.
This year, the Pantograph Punch has made it to 11 years old. And as Lana Lopesi, the organisational ghost who I pray will forever haunt us, said in a strategy hui the other day, "We're [PP] over our cute phase, and we're entering puberty." It sure feels like puberty.
As announced recently, we have a whole new team on board, after several staffing changes since I started out as our Kaiwāwāhi Kaupapa Māori in 2019. Today's team is completely stacked with BIPOC wāhine, including myself, Lana Lopesi, Sherry Zhang, Ana McAllister and Sinead Overbye. We think this is a real testament when other arts organisations continue to struggle with inclusivity, particularly at the most critical leadership level.
With all this change also comes transformation, growth, the energy of excitement. Although we've got those adolescent pimples, and we're openly still working out our shit, Pantograph Punch as a site and organisation has so much potential. We can't wait to push against how important, sexy, and smart our arts are coverage can be. With that, I am stoked to share an exciting editorial announcement.
We're completely stacked with BIPOC wāhine
From July, we will be trying out an editorial shift, moving to an 'issue' model, where every two months, The Pantograph Punch will publish a new issue centred around a theme. What you will see is the whole website transformed on Sunday 25 July, with all new pieces drawing from a central connecting kaupapa. The first issue is themed around Te Kore I Formless Potential and signals the new beginnings and potential for Pantograph to be re-formed in time for Matariki. It's a fitting kaupapa for our first edition. Te Kore is the potentiality for all new beginnings, concepts and ideas, and this is our first iteration of this kind of model for Pantograph. From Te Kore, our writings will spring forth (not without careful cultivation, I might add) to make up this first edition.
Knowing as I do, as Kaiwāwāhi, what pieces we have in mind for this edition, you won't want to miss out. Follow our socials, and keep in the know, and when it releases in July, make sure to bookmark every piece that you must read or sign up for our newsletter so the issue can come directly to your inbox. You won't find content and arts coverage like it on any other site. The most exciting creatives, the hottest books, films that rightly push at our societal boundaries, thoughtful and critical arts coverage that includes our regional towns and cities as well.
We think this issue model is super exciting, but know that some people may still want our more regular publishing, but there is no need to worry. Our work with our highly valued partners and timely reviews will be published per usual, showcasing the most exciting writers and arts coverage from Aotearoa.
Our first issue is themed around Te Kore I Formless Potential
Pantograph does well at developing and supporting emerging artists, editors and writers because it's always been part of the organisational remit to do so. I didn't have a background in editorial mahi before I began here, other than the digital platform for wāhine Māori I created to showcase the writings of my own community. Pantograph as an organisation has grown me into the editor, writer and creative I am now – I like to call it 'learning on the job'. And this is the same for many of the writers, artists and creatives we work with daily. It's often the first place someone is published, the first time someone steps into a Director, Editorial and Arts Communications role. We care about the creatives we work with, care about commissioning across diversity and #byusforus, we care about going above and beyond. We want to continue that work, so we are keen to hear from new writers who might like to write for our other two issues.
To finish, I can't help but share the whakapapa of my own journey to the position of Kaiwāwāhi, in honour of the BIPOC wāhine who collectively helped me get to where I am today. It started with Dr Maria Bargh, Associate Professor in Te Kawa a Maui at Wellington University, who said my writing was good. Laura Toailoa, Editor of Salient Magazine 2019, published my first article. Rosabel Tan, a co-founder of PP and Matariki Williams, previous Kaiwāwāhi Kaupapa Māori at PP, supported me in my first editorial role. Faith Wilson, the last Editor of PP who helped me grow and grew alongside me. And finally, our current Interim Director, Lana Lopesi. She sees potential in BIPOC artists that, from my own experience, others just can't see.
As a whānau, we take Pantograph forth into this new realm, that of formless potential, endless possibilities, and of course, in absolute service of our arts sector and communities here in Aotearoa.
Feature image: Illustration of taonga pūoro by Ana McAllister. Moon icon by regara from the Noun Project.
The Pantograph Punch publishes urgent and vital cultural commentary by the most exciting new voices in Aotearoa.