As the third issue of Good Trouble arrives on newsstands – this time centred on the climate crisis – an interview with the publication’s founder Rod Stanley
- TextDaisy Woodward
One of the few upsides to political turmoil and the threat of global devastation – if you can call it that – is the creativity such horrors spawn: acts of resistance, big and small, expressed through art and activism. And it was this thought that prompted Rod Stanley, former editor of Dazed, to take his own form of action in late 2016 – in the wake of the Brexit referendum and Trump’s election – by founding a new “DIY activist-arts broadsheet”, titled Good Trouble. “It was a kind of anguished reaction to the traumas of that year’s political events, and was vaguely planned to be a semi-regular publication all about how arts and culture can be effective tools of resistance,” he tells Another Man upon the release of the publication’s third issue, dedicated to the climate crisis. “Much to my surprise, we’re still going,” he adds, “although unfortunately Brexit and Trump are, too.”
Good Trouble “aims to use the power of stories to build networks and amplify voices around social change,” Stanley explains. “We try to highlight serious issues without taking ourselves too seriously.” The previous, immaculately designed issues have included contributions from artists like Wolfgang Tillmans, Hank Willis Thomas, Lara Schnitger and Torbjørn Rødland, and musicians such as Chino Amobi, Emel and Young Fathers, while spotlighting authors, activists and other resistance-minded creatives. The proceeds of each issue, Stanley explains, go towards a designated charity: issues one and two raised money for War Child and RAICES respectively, while issue three will fund global climate change movement Extinction Rebellion.
So what can we expect from Good Trouble’s covetable third edition? A lot as it turns out, given the broad scope of reactions to the burgeoning environmental crisis. “We are approaching, and are arguably already beyond, the point of no return for the climate crisis,” says Stanley. “Organisations like the Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, Extinction Rebellion, 350.org, Greta Thunberg and the school strike movement, and many more, have done an amazing job of focusing global attention on the crisis, as we’ve started to experience the effects of climate change that scientists have long warned us about.” Stanley wanted to reflect this sense of urgency within the issue, and does so from the very first glance. The cover is a previously unpublished image from Olafur Eliasson’s Glacier Series (1999/2019) – a striking aerial photograph of what remains of Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as such as a result of global warming – alongside the coverline “Meltdown”.
Inside there’s plenty to sink your teeth into too. “Despite my best efforts, each issue of Good Trouble somehow gets bigger than the last,” Stanley says. This issue is 44 pages long, composed of three distinct sections and a large glossy poster (a double-sided pull-out featuring Scott King’s artwork, Balloon for Britain, and an exclusive poster for designer Gareth Pugh’s 2019 documentary, Soul of a Movement). Stanley describes it as a “broad tent that can happily include the likes of Bill McKibben (founder of 350.org), feminist artist Penny Slinger, Jex Blackmore’s Sex Militant project, school climate strikers, radical thinker Douglas Rushkoff, David Shrigley, antifascist black metal, and a curious recipe for tête de veau” – and suffice to say we’re intrigued.
Good Trouble’s third issue is out now, available here.