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London Surf Film Festival

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What Youth

What Youth: film, site, movement, magazine – we’re stoked to be showcasing their work at the festival We caught up with What Youth’s Stuart Cornuelle to find out a little more about where paper fits in the digital world…

Approaching Lines: What is the ethos behind the magazine, and how did it come about?

I don’t even have to tell you this but the surfing lifestyle, at least the freesurfing lifestyle, is the most wonderful thing happening. Right? That’s not hyperbole, that’s just pure objective truth. And what we wanted was to document that in a raw, authentic way with our favorite surfers. But the other side of it is, that lifestyle, some elements of it are totally non-surf. It’s not one-dimensional. Like, we want everything done with a designer’s eye, and for there to be a creative facet and an intelligence to it, and a curiosity about culture. Yes it’s based in surfing but it’s not all about surfing. You can do better than that. The three of us were at Surfing Magazine and we were already working closely with Kai on his films, and we all shared these common ideas about what surfing is and where we could potentially go with a new project. We talked big lofty talk for a while and then just decided to make it happen. That was about eight months ago…

AL: When so much content is being geared towards a digital format, do you think the tangible of the analogue needs to be maintained?

Not necessarily for analogue’s sake, which is important. Like, don’t do analogue just to react against digital, which seems to be the motivation behind a lot of this current trend in design and product and so on. You know what I mean? That’s not why we do a magazine instead of creating solely for an iPad app or just a YouTube channel.

In our case it’s the paper and the photographs. We use paper that’s basically unreasonable, like the best we can do and then some, because paper is unique to print. In digital you have videos and infinite pages and music and interactivity but nothing to touch or hold. So we take that as far as we can.

And then photographs — especially big, pretty surf photos, they look best in print and they probably will for some time. There’s a gap there. The best photograph will live a sad, unfulfilled life in digital but on paper you can appreciate it properly. So the analogue medium just makes sense for what we’re creating.

AL: Who’s involved in WYQ?

Scott Chenoweth is our art director and photo editor and really the pilot of the magazine. He should be five people but he’s just one. He could probably do this alone. And then Nathan Lawrence is our photographer, he shoots almost everything we run unless it’s a surfer’s personal photos. Travis Ferré and I write and edit and Kai gives general input on everything. He’s a true student of print media, all kinds, especially international. Also Patrick, our intern, is quite brilliant. I’d fire myself before Patrick.