Pillage is an LGBTQ+ magazine – but not as you know it. Launched in February, it’s described as being “by and for sex-positive types”, merging, as co-founder Nicolas Santos says, “independent media, new online realities and historical context”. And it really is: the publication is a blend of the indie fashion magazines you might find at Wardour News (RIP); the ways we might think about and express ourselves sexually these days, particularly in relation to the internet; and reference to and reverence for LGBTQ+ history.
Pillage was created by Santos, a creative director and the founder of independent publishing house In Present Tense, and Benjamin Kirchhoff, who predominantly works as a stylist. Friends before they were collaborators, the pair came together with the aim of making a magazine that explores “personal yet unspoken realities surrounding sex”. “Pillage is a magazine dedicated to contemporary sexual culture,” explains Kirchhoff. “Our stance is not pornographic, nor apologetic. What we wanted was to create non-judgemental pages to discuss openly modern realities of sex practices, show living and complex artists, but also raise questions and generate ongoing dialogues with our readers. We want the magazine to be reflective of queer life realities – the good and the ugly. I see the magazine as much a portrait as a mirror.”
Out now, the first issue features interviews with the likes of Miron Zownir, Anton Stoianov, Hermes Cevera, Dan Kane, Michael Sayles by Stefano Pilati, and David Lindert. It feels new and yet familiar, intelligent but not intimidating. And as much as it is beautiful in its design, it’s practical too: the whole thing is littered with classifieds, contacts for community-based and non-governmental organisations, and information about queer archives, museums and libraries. As well as giving a voice to the lives and lived experience of LGBTQ+ individuals, the publication is also quite clearly about fostering a sense of collectivism, with “no projection, no idealisation, no censorship, and no filters.”
Here, Kirchhoff and Santos tell AnOther more about the project and what they hope it achieves