The word ‘independent’ gets adopted in the strangest, most inappropriate ways. (An unfortunate example is The Independent development at Main and Broadway. Sigh.) In the publishing sphere too, everyone wants to be independent. But it is more than just a buzzword for publications like Discorder, who wear its definition like a worn patch.
There are technical ways of defining independent publishing that are generally, though not always, identified by scrappy text and frugal printing. But I don’t want to focus on technical definitions. When asked what independent publishing means to local poet Adèle Barclay, she described it to me as “a fuck you to the canon and the old white men tastemakers who have held power for so long.” I want to hold onto that thought of tastemakers for a moment —
Tastemakers or influencers are folks with the ability to nudge trends into the collective conscience through different media platforms, which is not always a bad thing. Influence can be positive.
I don’t know that Discorder is a tastemaker so much as a taste tester. We aren’t the ones telling you exactly where to go because we’re already there with you. We’re dancing at Painted Fruit, and swaying to the beats of Yu Su; we’re showing up at Dystopia Dreaming, and sneaking into the Dominion to find Gold Saucer; we’re swiping right to Shindig artists, and chances are we’ve dated the same people. @discordermag probably already follows you on Instagram.
We are everywhere because Discorder contributors are everywhere. Discorder is almost entirely volunteer-run by members of CiTR 101.9fm. Writers, photographers and illustrators collaborate on every issue to bring content and perspectives unique to Discorder for the kind folks that pick up our magazine in Vancouver, and subscribe across the country. We don’t do this for profit, and we obviously don’t do it for fame. Discorder exists because you exist, and because you like some really weird stuff. To our readers, we will always be a reliable source of alternative music and arts. For contributors, we will always be that community that provides writers, photographers and artists their first relish of publishing. It takes an incredible network of passionate contributors and loyal readers to make ‘independent’ publishing possible.
It is also worth mentioning that we are so grateful to our advertisers for helping keep Discorder a free publication. They are our heroes.