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Sticking it to the man (and woman): Recens Paper

Officially listed as the globe’s youngest editor-in-chief, Elise By Olsen is on a mission. Still only 15, at the tender age of 13 she launched Recens Paper, a print publication hell-bent on challenging prevailing adult attitudes. “Today’s youth is part of a generation that will not be limited to gender binaries,” By Olsen states in one of her editorials. “They will not accept the obligations of commercialism.”

Working with the Iranian-born, Oslo-based graphic designer Morteza Vaseghi, it’s not just gender stereotypes that Recens Paper is attempting to shake up, but the whole Scandinavian publishing industry. Highly critical of the ‘amazingly well done’ but ‘typical minimal Scandinavian look’ of white space and matte paper, By Olsen blasts Norway’s publishing culture as soulless with no identity of its own. Ouch.

Remonstrating with the norm, Recens Paper upends the cover image, uses glossy paper and ‘extreme colour choices’ to reflect a ‘riot against serious minimalism,’ (FYI there’s a lot of reference to rioting). Although a printed publication, rather than an online platform, Recens Paper is not ditching the trend towards digital completely; the second issue was funded by Kickstarter donations and most of the contributors are sourced through social media.

Recens Paper image: Recens Paper Issue #2