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Ctrl.Alt.Shift – Current Affairs & a Double Shot of Tequila

The HQ at Ctrl.Alt.Shift is unleashing their Corruption Issue into general bookshops! Art editor Valerie Pezeron investigates!

Written by Valerie Pezeron

magPhotograph courtesy of Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

Ctrl.Alt.Shift is a seriously cool experimental youth initiative dedicated to politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. Last time I heard of them, they were organising a comic book themed talk at the ICA Comica festival. Using creativity, photography, film, stories, illustrations and music, it aims to give a voice to the silent majority- meaning you and I, dear artistic and socially motivated Amelia’s readers! On January 7th, experimental youth movement Ctrl.Alt.Shift will become the first charity to venture onto newsagent mainstream shelves with the release of its own bi-annual magazine – Ctrl.Alt.Shift: The Corruption Issue.

IMG_2414Photograph by Luke Miley

It’s hot stuff! Spanning 84 pages, the launch of Ctrl.Alt.Shift: The Corruption Issue will focus on corruption as both a key cause of poverty and the barrier to overcoming it, and represents an ongoing attempt by the organization to bring a marginalized social and political agenda back into mainstream rhetoric. Including a satirical fashion shoot inspired by Guantanamo Bay, and drawing on comment and work from contemporary artists such as V V Brown and Sarah Maple, the magazine taps into popular culture to provoke debate and counter apathy amongst its audience of 18 – 25 year olds.

boob-job-neededAll other photographs by Adrian Nettleship

Highlights of the issue include the artist Sarah Maple; described by The Independent on Sunday as ‘the heir to Tracy Emin‘s throne’, Maple unveils a bespoke piece of work influenced by corruption and sex. Richard Shoyemi looks at how Asda’s new Asian range will inspire a generation of fashionistas for the Culture club section of the magazine. There is an interview with Tim Westwood as the Radio 1 DJ talks marrying music, activism, and why he wouldn’t take Pimp My Ride to Palestine. Freelance journalist and Middle East expert Ben White is the author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide. White breaks down the language of corruption for the magazine. There is also Riz Ahmed; fresh from appearing alongside Jude Dench in the movie Rage, the actor and MC finds time to give his take on the effects of corruption. Ctrl.Alt.Shift’s Face the Music unearths the sounds which are making it big in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and beyond. There will be a goody two shoes feature on how Brazilian shoe company Melissa and designer Vivienne Westwood have met in ethical style heaven. And there is ‘Murder he wrote’, an investigative feature into honor killing in India.


We love the fact that the magazine puts what it preaches into action. It’s well known that magazines add to the pollution issue we all now face; printed on completely uncoated paper using vegetable ink, the magazine is completely biodegradable and has a cover price of £3.95. It is available from most WHSmith stores, as well as


Katrin Owusu, Head of Youth Marketing and Innovations at Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Chantelle Fiddy, Editor of Ctrl.Alt.Shift Magazine tell Amelia’s art editor Valerie Pezeron about their exciting new venture.

Valerie Pezeron: It’s a very brave act of faith to launch a magazine at a time when the industry is experiencing economic problems. Why should people buy your magazine?

Katrin Owusu: Ctrl.Alt.Shift: The Corruption Issue is inclusive, broad and at times controversial; with content ranging from a fashion-shoot inspired by Guantanemo Bay, to Sarah Maple creating art inspired by sex and corruption, to the music which is making the charts in Afghanistan. We hope the magazine will reach out to people who wouldn’t traditionally be interested in politics or current affairs, and encourage those people out of their comfort zones and into action.

VP: I love Ctrl.Alt.Shift and you guys are really setting the bar really high!

Chantelle Fiddy: It’s a real accomplishment to have produced a magazine that takes on board third sector objectives yet sits happily alongside consumer titles. Having had the freedom to explore new ways to package stories on global and social injustice, from Tim Westwood talking about activism to looking at the work of ethical shoe company Melissa and highlighting trends from around the world, we’ve resulted in something of a first (for the charity sector).

VP: So the new year is commencing with a bang?

CF: It’s the icing on the cake for what’s been an amazing eighteen months for Ctrl.Alt.Shift!

Run to the shops now, there aren’ t that many original magazines with a conscience out there…besides Amelia, of course!


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