Photography and new technologies to face the limits of visual storytelling. This is the main idea of the creative Me-Mo Magazine – Memory in motions.
The purpose is the one to offer an app magazine and bring back respect and quality to journalism. This quarterly magazine, a project designed in three languages, Italian, English, Spanish, exploits the possibilities of the most innovative communication techniques, from simple videos to 3D animations and infographics, to tell stories around a common topic in every single issue. Quality and engagement are the keywords: selected photographers not only show great technical skills, but also a sensitive, sharp and critical look in telling what they see. Now the App is supported only by iPad, but ME-MO will be soon available also for the Android and PC versions. Today we are going to meet Editor in Chief, Maral Deghati, for going deep into this extraordinary project.
Alice Ensabella. I was wondering when and how this project has been created. And also, what are your main needs to develop such a product?
Maral Deghati. Me-Mo magazine number #1 was released on April 19th of 2014 and was created in 2011 during the Libyan revolution when my colleagues met during the fieldwork. This horrible war has been a real turning point for our work, which saw a new generation of promising photojournalists. From then on several meetings, a lot of bravery, determination, integrity, a strong teamwork and few beers have contributed to the creation of the Me-Mo magazine and platform. Frustration (in trying to be listened and published), our naive and rebel spirit led us into this adventure. We would like to support independent photojournalists and their special reports, which are often refused by the press. We wish to bring back respect and importance to journalism as it was in the past, so that to tell stories in a historical background.
A.E. How do you choose a topic for each issues? What is your policy about the choice of artists?
M.D. We don’t like the word “policy”, because it is exactly what we’re fighting against. Our magazine is a platform, a community where there’s no hierarchy and it’s totally independent. We are looking for young talents and professionals keen on their job and offering long-term projects that deserve to be fully read, seen and heard.
A.E. Within the magazine’s presentation, you are speaking about “commitment” and “stories to tell”. Do you think that these features are far away from photojournalism today? Especially the one spread online?
M.D. Me-Mo wants to be a bridge between different media supports. Me-Mo also wants to be a sharing and exchange platform to build a community where thinking, respect and commitment for information are values to be honoured. Me-Mo will use the new media in favour of a more complete journalistic contribution. The aim is to show the will to change the present condition, where technology is only synonym of speed and immediacy of communication. Our job remains the same, nothing will change for us. The real change will take place on an editorial level. Our strength is innovation and our gift is time.
A.E. You publish extreme high-quality pictures. Are they copyrighted or once you download the app, you become “owners” of these pictures? How do you handle the question of safeguarding images?
M.D. As stipulated for each magazine issue, images are protected by copyright. Me-Mo app and its contents are fully protected. It is a good question; we question ourselves almost every day on it. The most important is to be constantly alert. My first apprehension is not copyright really, but the constant demand to provide free pictures, which is one of the biggest troubles of our job. Value, time and energy spent to take a picture are unfortunately never considered.
A.E. For this reason, do you plan parallel events to the magazine, as for example conferences or exhibitions? In exhibitions, I guess images are printed in fine art limited edition. What is your position about the boundary, if there is one, between photojournalism and fine art? Which is your magazine role?
M.D. Me-Mo has been created for durable photo projects reaching out to the largest public. We have started building our team through several conferences (at the Front-Line Club in London, the New York School of Arts) and exhibitions (in Barcelona, Turin, Milan ..), where pictures were actually numbered and printed on 10-15 copies. I believe there is a real limit between photojournalism and fine art photography. As you will see in our magazine, we rigorously present journalistic topics: articles, interviews, infographics, and pictures. In addition, we add a creative touch through which the photographer can talk about his subject according to his own experience.
A.E. The first issue is dedicated to “war” as topic, the next issue will be released within few weeks. Can we have a little preview?
M.D. The topic will be “disintegration”. A young talent, an old one and some co-produced subjects. For this second issue we have experienced a five reportages formula for five photographers, a co-working on a common topic. A young photographer will present a project, which he has been working on for several years, about his country in full disintegration. For all the rest… you should buy and support Me-Mo!
This post is also available in: Italian