Borderlands Magazine is a literary journal by Territorians, for Territorians and readers anywhere interested in our unique part of Australia.
The people and places of Australia’s Centre and North are of great interest to many Australians, and often shape the way we are represented and perceived globally.
They also hold a cherished and historically significant place in Australian literature, for example, ideas of sprawling space, isolation, , and that Australia has a ‘spiritual heart’, are all given voice in the Northern Territory.
And the Territory is culturally diverse: One quarter of its population is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and an equal portion are born overseas.
Such diversity combined with the Territory’s isolation from the rest of the nation, and its close proximity to Asia, contributes to a unique lifestyle and an unparalleled set of challenges.
The stories of the Territory, it is often said, are among the most important Australia has to tell.
Yet so often they are not widely heard.
Moreover, the stories of the Territory most often published are by visiting writers from elsewhere.
The result is a lack of the intimacy and nuance that can only derive from a lived experience, the insider perspective that can bring depth and true colour to the stories of a place.
One problem contributing to this is that since 2000 the Northern Territory has had no literary journal of its own.
Borderlands Magazine hopes to become a vibrant storytelling portal where the Territory’s diverse ‘ideas and identities’ may readily meet and be heard.
The magazine arises from a research project conceived in 2015 and eventually funded for six months in 2018 by Arts NT.
What followed was a research and fundraising phase leading to a first call for contributions to a pilot magazine in April 2019.
A core aim of the magazine has been to showcase storytelling not only in text, but also through photojournalism, oral storytelling, animations and video.
The April 2019 call for submissions was a great success.
From it has emerged a special feature of NT writers in Westerly Magazine 64.2 (Nov 19) that we curated here at Borderlands, and a first (online pilot) issue of Borderlands Magazine launched in November 2019, plus a first print pilot edition of Borderlands Magazine expected to launch in May 2020.
By creating a dedicated platform to showcase Territory storytellers, we hope to bring fresh perspectives on the Territory to a national (and ultimately international) audience while fostering the growth of NT storytelling by paying industry rates to build and sustain a vibrant arts practice.
The pilot will underpin our concerted efforts in 2020 to achieve sustainable funding for an ongoing publication.