Perfect Bound Issue 2

Frequency Bi-Annual
Publisher Names by Perfect Bound
Perfect Bound Issue 2


In our inaugural issue, we invited our collaborators - some of the world's most respected photographers, artists, writers, curators and creators - to explore wildness, in all its glorious guises.  We plunged into icy open waters with wild swimmers, who gave us access to their spiritual life aquatic;  we travelled to the Gambia to witness the power of vibrant wall paintings in remote villages;  and we lost ourselves in the beauty of the Norwegian wilderness.  Now we are #boundforadventure again.  This time, we've challenged our contributors to throw some light on rites of passage - both ancient and modern - from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.  Unsurprisingly, their interpretations couldn't be more diverse.  LA-based photographer Andrew MacPherson (his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, ELLE, Vogue and many other publications), lets us ride up front with him and his wife, Joanna, on a road trip across the American South West in search of the solar eclipse;  and writer Sheryl Garratt, former editor of The Face, takes us on a very personal visit to the Manhood Academy, a project in London aimed at reintroducing life-enriching rites of passage to young black boys.  And that's just the tiniest glimpse of what's in store.  So press the accelerator, and let's hit the road.  Trust me, you're going to love this ride.  Karena Callen, Editor


For me, it's the constant, meandering flow of change that makes it so exciting, fascinating and, at times, frustrating.  Learning how others manage the unpredictable nature of their life journeys has always been a great source of inspiration.  In the past, young men and women were given tools to navigate the complexities of life through different rites of passage.  Their transition from child to young adult followed a set of codified and meaningful rules;  they were invited to identify what would become lifelong, guiding principles.  Nowadays, very few rites of passage have survived.  Western societies have become homogeneous.  Notions like age, gender, culture, roots and identity are constantly questioned and challenged.  Back in the day, elders and communities used to guide, lead and support our growth into adulthood.  Today, change is happening faster than at any other time in human history.  How do we, as human beings pushed into the flux of constant transitions, find our way, our voice, our purpose?  This volume explores contemporary meanings of rites of passage and revisits some ancient ones through the lenses of art, literature, travel, culture and fashion, but also real-life experiences.  I hope they inspire you. 

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We're often asked why we chose the name Perfect Bound.  By definition, perfect binding is the process used to gather pages of a publication together and to secure them with adhesive to a spine.  And it's this printed artefact that we love, especially in the digital age where we consume most of our content on screens.  It's here, then it's gone.  Temporary, impermanent, whereas books, magazines and journals have a physical presence that has implied longevity and substance.  Perfect Bound is also invitation to embark on a journey - we are ‘bound’ for somewhere new and undiscovered; an unusual destination which encourages curiosity.  To open your mind, heart and imagination and to go beyond the prescriptions of indiscriminate consensus and misleading truths of rising populism, or the narcissism of shallow faddish 'fashism' Perfect Boundexists to (gently!) provoke and invite our readers to explore a world of ‘what ifs’, ‘what-abouts’, ‘I wonder’ or ‘I never knew.'  Our aim is to inspire, to stimulate imagination, to initiate debate and conversation, to get away from the illusions of a binary way of looking at the world and at people.  All the content we publish is created by our expert and experienced editorial team and by our collaborators, not curated.  Each volume tells stories; beautifully executed and with a central theme.  Our aim is to open as many doors as possible, and to use a variety of lenses to keep curious minds alert, agile and hungry, yet satisfied that there is more to current culture than sugary soundbites and generic content.