The Lithuanian Culture Institute presents a new journal, * as a Journal, for readers around the world interested in culture. Overcoming the isolation imposed by the pandemic, the new magazine opens up a unique space for cultural cooperation. It brings together creators, curators and researchers from Lithuania and various foreign countries to reflect on topics of global concern, and readers are invited to look at those topicalities from unexpected cultural perspectives.
“The publication of * as a Journal is a very ambitious but well-thought-out idea that reflects the Institute’s mission to create sustainable international cultural partnerships and thus promote the value of Lithuanian art,” says Aušrinė Žilinskienė, Director of the Institute. “Together with like-minded people, we are creating a unique cultural Trojan Horse by wrapping in the format of the magazine a variety of collaborations, an exchange of creative ideas and great stories for slower, unhurried reading.”
The title of * as a Journal, which will be published twice a year in English, will change with the topic explored in each issue. Each theme will be developed by guest editors of the magazine with the help of an international team of authors – artists, thinkers, researchers, curators and others. In the first issue, the asterisk will be replaced by “Forest” (Forest as a Journal), and in the second, “Cosmos” (Cosmos as a Journal). In the autumn of this year, the decision on what cultural issues will become the core of the third and fourth issues of the magazine will be finalised.
The vision of the magazine was created by a team of professionals
A large team of professionals helped the Institute to develop the idea of the journal. Alongside the team of staff of the Institute worked philosopher Kristupas Sabolius, art critic Ernestas Parulskis, cultural attaché in the USA and journalist Gražina Michnevičiūtė, artist Julijonas Urbonas, art critic Jogintė Bučinskaitė and creative communication consultant Dovydas Kiauleikis. The principal design of the magazine was created by Godspeed Branding. “Polishing the concept, choosing the title for the magazine and searching for design solutions has been a long and interesting process that has taken place since last summer and has become an ambitious task of co-creation,” recalls A. Žilinskienė.
“Culture is not only a space for self-expression, but also for thinking. Here, new concepts are being developed and established ideas reconsidered, a process initiated by artists and creators. I am very glad that this magazine will help the Lithuanian cultural scene to present its thinking potential,” shares his thoughts Kristupas Sabolius, who also assists on the magazine’s editorial board.
Writer, member of the editorial board of the magazine Vaiva Grainytė believes that cultural cooperation in the preparation of the magazine will strengthen the relations between Lithuanian and foreign cultural creators so that they could withstand the harsh pandemic era. “The world becoming more and more familiar with Lithuanian culture, but “packaging” its discourses into the magazine format allows for forging even closer ties with the international community: fostering such a polylogue in a textual way makes it resistant to the pandemic situation and creates lasting, historical value,” says Grainytė.
Kotryna Lingienė, editor of * as a Journal, emphasises the uniqueness of the new magazine: “Although each issue will present one specific topic – in the case of the first issue, the forest – I think that the greatest strength of this publication is its versatility. It is the diversity of voices, it is different attitudes and tools used, it is the wide range of fields of research and specialisation, it is geography – it would be impossible to bring all collaborators working on one issue together and meet live. All this allows us to boldly state that * as a Journal is a journal from Lithuania but not only about Lithuania – it is about global processes that are significant both here and elsewhere in the world,” shares Lingienė.
The design of the 1st and 2nd issues, reflecting the themes, was created by graphic designer Gailė Pranckūnaitė.
The magazine is distributed abroad and in Lithuania. Please visit www.asajournal.lt.