“This issue is a testament to what can be achieved despite life’s disruptions.” – aAh! Magazine, The DISRUPTION Issue
Manchester Metropolitan University’s arts and culture magazine, aAh! Magazine, has released its fourth print instalment: The DISRUPTION Issue.
The student-led magazine features stories of activism, artwork, enterprise, and student experience. Produced entirely remotely, this latest issue is a testament to what can be achieved despite life’s disruptions.
Each issue of aAh!’s print magazine interrogates one word, which runs as a theme throughout the magazine. Given the circumstances our community has faced over the last year and a half, aAh! set out to explore the theme of ‘disruption’, inviting contributors to pitch features and creative submissions.
Pick up your copy on campus or read online.
Reflecting on the theme of the new issue, News and Features Editor Nathan Eckersley, said: “The last six years especially have been littered with disruption from strained Brexit negotiations to the presidency of Donald Trump and COVID-19.
“A year in lockdown provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the disruption we have faced, personally and globally, and make our own assessments on how we can restore order in our lives and in our world.”
While the magazine focuses on themes of disruption, many of the articles featured remain optimistic, highlighting moments of positive social change, environmental policies, and student experiences throughout the past year and a half.
The issue tackles stories about Black Lives Matter, the ongoing Myanmar protests, and Gamestop, as well as conversations around gender equality and contraception, and the international student experience during the lockdown. The DISRUPTION Issue offers a look at the issues that students want to see highlighted in the media, rather than a rehashing of popular news stories.
The aAh! team themselves faced a number of challenges due to restrictions placed on their community. As a student-run magazine, aAh! is created by dedicated volunteers from within the Manchester Met community.
Since 2020, the team has been working remotely, and many have never met in person. Despite this, Opinion Editor Kerry Power, said that there is still a “supportive collaborative environment” within the team.
“We work together as a team really well and it has surprised me how supportive everyone is, despite the fact that they are working on a voluntary basis and giving up their own time to support my work,” added Power.
Student media project coordinator and journalism lecturer Natalie Carragher, has been working alongside Editorial Assistant Ryann Overbay, aAh! student editors, and the graphic design collective to support their ambitious vision for this latest issue.
She said: “Year after year we always comment on how our print magazine gets stronger but this year the team have truly excelled and elevated the publication.
“Ryann and the team have shown outstanding resilience over this academic year, leading aAh! Magazine’s online, print magazine, and campaigns to huge success in unprecedented circumstances.
“Not only have the team embraced remote working, but they ensured sessions remained engaging and inclusive for other students.”
This year, The DISRUPTION Issue was created by the aAh! editorial team in collaboration with a volunteer design collective who created original layouts and spreads for the print magazine.
Sara Merkaj, coordinator of the graphic design collective, helped organise and lead the student design team, working remotely via Teams.
Refecting on this year’s student work, Merkaj said: “I think this is a powerful and empowering student project: run, written and designed by students, a fantastic opportunity to really hear students’ voices at Manchester Met.
“It is also an extremely important way to support students’ employability, skills and experiences while still at university practising team working, project managing and building their confidence while working collaboratively.”
Carragher added: “It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with graphic design students under the direction of Sara Merkaj. This collaboration has really boosted the print publication and it’s great to see so many designers involved in producing the individual spreads.”
Pick up your copy of aAh! – The DISRUPTION Issue on campus to read the lates feature articles, interviews, opinion pieces, and creative writing, and designs created by the student-led aAh! Magazine team.
Find online versions of our print issues at aah-magazine.co.uk/magazine.