The project in the Kalejdoskop” process

„Kalejdoskop” is a magazine devoted to local culture connected with Lodz and the region. The reader will find in its pages critical and journalistic texts devoted to the most important cultural events, as well as presenting new interesting phenomena and initiatives. The magazine publishes columns, reviews (concerning all fields of art) and interviews ­­­­­with cultural personalities. It cooperates with leading representatives of Lodz and regional culture, art historians and critics, renowned film and literary ­critics, poets, literature translators, artists and creators of artistic events, journalists and satirists.

„Kalejdoskop” promotes young artists, not only by publishing texts
about them, showing their works in the form of reproductions (in the case of visual artists), but also by awarding them prizes, e.g. in the Władysław Strzemiński Competition for students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz and the prize for a young actor „for word culture” during the Festival of Theatre Schools organized by the Lodz Film School. The authors of cover portraits of important cultural personalities are recognized professional photographers. The editorial team also cooperates with students and future graduates of art schools (e.g. Lodz Film School in Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz). The monthly is complemented by the daily website.

Old title – new look

„Kalejdoskop” is a cultural magazine of Lodz and the Lodz region. It is addressed to a wide range of people interested in culture, regardless of age – to recipients of art, but also to people who create and describe it: artistic circles, employees of cultural institutions, journalists. The magazine has been published since 1974, but recently it has been available
in a new incarnation – the graphic design was created by Jakub „Hakobo” Stępień, an artist who 13 years ago was ranked by John Foster, the author of a publication on publishing graphics, among the 50 most important contemporary poster artists in the world. „Hakobo” is a designer of posters, publications and visual identity for the Art Museum, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Tate Britain and Lodz Design Festival. He is a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz.

The visual form of „Kalejdoskop” refers to publishing graphics from the 60s and 70s of the 20th century, i.e. the times when the magazine was born. Thus, the designer made creative use of the fonts, colours, composition arrangements and old techniques of that time. When designing the appearance of „Kalejdoskop”, the author used many different fonts appearing next to each other and various graphic elements. Each issue was divided into a reading part and the so-called gallery space in full colour and on different paper. In June 2020, the layout of „Kalejdoskop” received a distinction of Polish Graphic Design in the category „New design or redesign of a magazine”.

A book like a movie

The jubilee anthology „45. The Best of… Kalejdoskop. The columns.” On over two hundred pages, selected texts of the best authors published for 45 years of the „Kalejdoskop” magazine have been collected. The publication is also a visually attractive object, which shows that „Kalejdoskop” in its quite long life is mostly people. This goal was fulfilled by the Fajne Chłopaki graphic studio, which prepared a book project that allows to combine a cultural magazine with good design. Specially selected paper and colour scheme, embossing on the cover, selected font character and content layout.

We chose the column, because it is the most original genre. Sometimes elusive, hot-written when the editorial staff rushes, but it has the ability to capture reality in its essence, stop it and close it in a single film frame. A few dozen of such small images from the film which has been going on for forty-five years, is enough to talk about its plot and characters – the dynamics of change in culture and the temperature of discussion around it. This is what „Kalejdoskop” has always been about: showing a different face of the city of chimneys, and by showing it, co-creating – through its authors – this different reality.

The new publishing project is „Kalejdoskop Kultury”, a national cultural and scientific journal – the first new title in many years in Lodz. Our partners are: Film School, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Lodz and Museum of Arts in Lodz, who, in agreement with the Lodz House of Culture, the publisher of „Kalejdoskop”, co-finance the magazine, appoint the editorial board, scientific council, etc.

The creation of a new national cultural and scientific magazine is a reaction to the progressive centralization of Polish cultural criticism – to the detriment of the so-called peripheries, centres other than Warsaw. That is why the specific (not pejorative) understanding of the periphery is important for the ” Kalejdoskop Kultury”. It may become a starting point for a more differentiated thinking about the place and meaning of Polish culture in relation to the so-called civilization centre. Lodz, with its history and location, as a city marked by avant-garde art, seems to be the best centre for such a magazine – it has a potential to attract and integrate other environments that experience the pressure of the „centre”, face its odium, or simply propose a different view of the field of culture. Such a situation opens the way to a common, more complete description of contemporary culture and the art emerging from it. For the magazine, it is a chance for a broad international circulation.

We would like to create a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience between regional cultures regardless of the filtering capital city. We want to become a space where young cultural researchers, including graduates of Lodz universities, to a large extent the inhabitants of the region (but not only), having critical ambitions, will be able to fulfil themselves creatively and improve their skills. This type of writing allows for internal consolidation of the environment, building a strong local identity and a brand recognisable
on a national scale. Its premiere is planned for the end of 2020.