What would a lifestyle magazine look like in a post-capitalist world?

As cultural workers who don't see political and cultural organizing as separate from our artistic practices, we posed these questions half-jokingly during our meeting presentation to our advisors. We found the concept of a solidarity economy lifestyle magazine funny at first. We associated lifestyle magazines with consumption, material goods, and luxury products. But to commit to the bit, we asked: Can we have luxurious practices? Is it possible to understand the ideas that we interact with daily, both contemporary and ancestral, as worthy of audience, art direction and intention? Is it possible to reframe and reconsider the "formal" and "informal" modes of living, traditionally perceived through a hierarchical perspective, in order to rediscover histories, traditions, and innovations?
Can the revolution be found in our everyday life, and can we make it sexy?

The solidarity economy is a term that has many alternatives: economic democracy, a people’s economy, a social economy, and cooperative economics, to name a few.1 To set a base-level foundation, we turn to two folks, among others, who have led us forward in this work: Lauren Hudson and Caroline Woolard. Lauren Hudson, a scholar in feminist urban geography and a member of the SolidarityNYC collective,2 defines the solidarity economy as “a set of cooperative economic practices that include worker, food, financial, and housing cooperatives, community land trusts and gardens, and other forms of collective work. Its practitioners and organizers have always framed the movement as a bulwark against the crisis of capitalism.”3

Caroline Woolard, artist and founding member of Art.coop, Trade School, and the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative, states:

When I discovered something called the solidarity economy movement, I found it beautiful and an image of the world I want to be in. One where community currencies and barter clubs are seen as two of many options for exchange and transfer and where consumption and use happen in collective houses or cooperatives. One where the allocation of surplus happens through community reinvestment, cooperative banks, community financing. One where creation comes about through the commons4 and community land trusts and where production is do-it-yourself or by a producer cooperative or a worker cooperative. There are many options.5

As Caroline mentions, there are many ways to participate in this movement, and in turn, there are many ways to represent it. We’re considering this publication “the pro-testing print.” The term “pro-testing” is a nod to the “pro-test movement” by artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbona, who worked to prevent the closure of Lietuva, the last cinema to be privatized and destroyed by property developers and neoliberal politicians in Lithuania. The space for resistance led by Nomeda and Gediminas involved “artwork(s) / protest / civil disobedience / celebration / sit-in” and the creation of the Pro-test Lab Archive.6 It is in this spirit of experimentation and celebrating minor acts of resistance, alongside direct action, that we assembled this collective of practitioners for the inaugural issue of Fortunately.

We have five edited conversations and five offerings of mixed-format contributions for the print issue, ranging from a public and interactive sculpture to a manifesto. Poet Laureate of Boston, Porsha Olayiwola, poetically sets the table for a brunch with twelve black phantoms. Artist and educator Fei Liu provides instructions on how to play a game of dominos in the form of a community bank. Painter Shantel Miller explores identity, spirituality, and existentialism in their art to inspire reflection. Our friends from Small Format share a recipe for fall gatherings. brandon king, executive director of Resonate Coop, discusses the challenges platform cooperatives face and shares a manifesto designed to be operative. 

SAMSØÑ Projects’ Camilo Alvarez talks about art market futures with writer Alula Hunsen. Economist Francisco Pérez meditates on the symbiotic possibilities of the solidarity and arts economies, while MOLD Magazine editor LinYee Yuan reflects on community economics and the future of food. Veteran organizer Rosalba Solis and viento izquierdo ugaz explore Indigenous cosmovisions, music, and grassroots organizing. The UnBound Bodies Collective chats with Cy X about the erotics of care. Additionally, as a preview to our website launch, mai ishikawa sutton discusses with Mark from Fortunately how tech and the solidarity economy intersect.

How does one curate a publication about the solidarity economy? Particularly when we understand that the movement is neither static nor singular. In preparing for our conversation with LinYee Yuan, we learned from her that eating is the only thing we do besides having sex that engages all of our senses.7 She discusses the importance of our multi-sensory experiences in creating joy and community and how we should take feeling seriously. In the end, our research and conversations affirmed what we already knew: the importance of music, food, poetry, art, and erotics to this movement's work. 

What if our senses were synchronized while rehearsing alternative cooperative economic models?
Looking ahead, we aim to acquire more visions for alternatives to transition from an extractive to a regenerative economy. In the words of historian and academic Robin D.G. Kelley, “Without new visions, we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics, but a process that can and must transform us.”8

This broadsheet print format9 serves as a soft launch, allowing us to learn what we'll need for the next publication. In our research on what it takes to start a magazine, we had a conversation with Nu Goteh, the co-founder of Deem Journal. He advised us, "Part of the formula is naïveté. Just go for it." So, we did.

1 The 2020 lecture by Nati Linares and Francisco Perez for”'Media Tools for Liberation” presented a range of alternative terms for the solidarity economy. These include: new economy, economic democracy, social economy, democratic socialism, socialism, feminist economy, twenty-first century socialism, people’s economy, eco-socialism, council communism, anarcho-communism, and libertarian socialism.

2 SolidarityNYC is a collective of organizers and researchers who promote, connect, and support New York City’s solidarity economy

3 Lauren Hudson, “Building Where We Are: The Solidarity-Economy Response to Crisis,” in Rethinking Marxism: Pandemic and the Crisis of Capitalism (Brighton, MA: ReMarx Books, 2020), 172.

4 When Caroline refers to “the commons,” she’s referring to shared resources that are collectively owned and managed by a group or community, rather than being owned or controlled exclusively by individuals or corporations.

5 Caroline Woolard, “What Is A Work Of Art In The Age Of A $120,000 Art Degree? ‘Entrepreneurs Of the Self’ In The New Economy” (Lecture, Schumacher Center for New Economics, 2014).

6 Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas, "The Pro-test Lab," The Drouth, 2019, 

7 Alicia Kennedy, “A Conversation with LinYee Yuan,” 2023

8 Robin D.G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (New York: Penguin, 2002), xii.

9 The initial publication of Issue 0 was on a two-tone broadsheet print.