Although the title of their DIY-zine, Hate, might suggest otherwise, Luisa Le Voguer Couyet and Scarlett Carlos Clarke are primarily using the independent publication to promote topics close to their hearts, particularly those often disregarded by society. After covering sex, gender, and mental health for previous issues, the 24-year-old editor and 25-year-old photographer decided to focus on the importance of caring for the environment as the theme for the magazine’s fourth issue.
With “Hate” being intentionally entirely independent, do you feel as if mainstream media is covering environmentalism in a good way right now?
Oh no, we don’t think it ever has. In mass media, environmentalism would always be represented as really crusty or weird, associated with not conforming to society. And it’s been like that for a long time, which probably comes from the eco-hippie movement of the 60s when this lifestyle became really mainstream. But it seems so absurd that to care about the planet equals an alternative lifestyle or an alternative point of view. That’s why it’s up to us, anyone who is involved in any kind of public thing or creative endeavour, to try and publicise it in a way that is new or fresh.
How did you try and tackle these connotations when putting together the magazine?
We asked all our contributors to take a positive attitude towards the topic. We wanted to make sure that the issue wasn’t purely negative because we don’t think it is very useful to add even more negativity into the world. We also included really beautiful pictures of nature to juxtapose the two. Because in the end we all agree that our planet is an amazing thing.
Although a lot of people continue to deny the fact of climate change and environmental issues.
It’s astounding that people are still prioritising money and materialistic things over living on this planet. People aren’t connecting the dots to see the whole picture, like the weather changes or the sea level rising. It’s just convenient to ignore the fact that you are having a negative impact on something. Also, people don’t want to take responsibility; there is a disconnection between actions and their consequences, so they just switch off to what’s happening. That’s why it became really important for us to try and at least promote environmental issues a little bit, to get some kind of dialogue going. We’re able to have more of a platform by having a voice.
Was there a certain moment you realised you should use the magazine as a tool for highlighting the significance of the topic?
We always had the idea of doing the environment as a theme in our heads because it just seems to be getting worse and worse, and sometimes it feels like people just don’t take these issues seriously. All this started to build up, and as we’ve seen in politics, young people do actually have a voice and the potential to change things. The environment is one of, if not the key issue we should all be focusing on right now. We are the next generation, we are going to live with the consequences longer, it is our planet, and it is up to us. People are so disconnected from their surroundings. They blame technology for that but actually we can try and use technology to get back in touch with each other.
To get something like a global conversation on environmental issues going?
Yes, social media is such a good tool for connecting with people around the world, about what they’re doing in their local communities for example. People are on the Internet every single day; it has become like another sense. It’s the community that you can have that can potentially have an impact, like swapping information, skills, knowledge. That is how we change things. People should be ashamed if they’re not using any platform they have. And everyone has a platform, anyone who has Facebook or Instagram or any kind of social footprint online has a platform.
How important is it to then also translate these actions into the offline world?
We understand in one sense that just signing online petitions and writing Facebook statuses about climate change isn’t good enough, but we don’t think that it’s totally useless. It’s a domino effect and it’s one big chain. You shouldn’t stop talking about issues just because someone said that no one is going to listen or see it. We can’t let that dictate our lives and the decisions we make, we have to live now. By putting an idea out there you can give life to things. If people are passionate about their beliefs, they should invest in them. We can’t just sit back and wait for someone else to do it.
Photography by Alex Sainsbury
Taken from INDIE #56, THE OUTDOOR ISSUE