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April 4, 2016

Krass keeps on keeping on

With the release of its second issue and a move into a new office space, Krass - the Adelaide magazine that is attracting international attention - proves it's here for the long haul.

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  • Words: Anthony Nocera
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

Walking up to meet Sanja, co-editor and co-founder of Krass Journal, she seems out of place.


Krass is available from their website and from Council of Objects and Imprints booksellers.

She was wearing a white t-shirt tucked into baggy, light blue jeans with red loafer-type shoes. Her head was buried in a newspaper with a tote bag of books and magazines next to her. Our conversation was quick and well-read and about literature and art and media and writing … it felt a lot like a conversation you’d see in a New York movie, not on Peel Street.

But it happened on Peel Street.

Following the success of their crowd-funded first issue, Krass Journal founders Sanja Grozdanic and Tess Martin have released issue 2, which sees the magazine broaden its scope and voice, giving a platform to a bunch of local writers and artists.

But it’s ambitions stretch far beyond the local, with the magazine finding stockists across Europe, Canada and the United States, with Sanja recently flying to New York to launch the issue and meet with distributors.

“Our distributor in the US said that people like images on the cover of their magazines and I was like, ‘cool’. But I think the text is important …I usually write the text for the covers in the last minute, but it sums up what each issue is all about,” says Sanja.

“The cover of issue two reads, ‘There are so many people here who don’t want to be my sisters but they are anyway’. Issue two is about realising that there are these big problems and that things are a mess but we’re all in it together. It’s about remembering that, and doing your own thing.”

Issue two of Krass is filled with the voices of people who, through their words, actions and art, challenge and reconfigure the status quo.  People who look at the current state of things and say ‘no’. The publication is dedicated to defiance and boldness. It’s an editorial point of view that permeates every aspect of Krass, from its content, to its context and form, with the magazine being produced solely, stubbornly and defiantly in print.

“While I was in New York, I went to Women of Letters… have you heard of it?” Sanja asks. We shake our heads.

“It’s this afternoon where female identifying writers get up and talk. And it’s amazing. They don’t record the sessions, so it’s just this really special space.”

She pauses and looks at her magazine on the table, “We’re human beings. We like to pick stuff up and hold it. Online is oversaturated. There are so many blogs and websites … and that’s not to say there isn’t really good stuff out there but it gets lost. We wanted to bypass that.”

And bypass that they have. Krass’ second issue has been praised by everyone who matters in magazines and design. But no amount of international acclaim is going to tear them away from Adelaide, which they see as the perfect place to cultivate their brand.

“In New York there are so many people from Adelaide living and working and doing awesome things,” says Sanja.

“But it’s so expensive … even in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s so expensive to live and make art. In Adelaide the rent is cheap, there’s space and so much support. You can do all the same things here.

“We don’t see a reason to leave. We’ve just been given an office space by Renew Adelaide, which will help us grow as well.”

We ask about issue three, which is already in the works, but she keeps her lips sealed. The content and the cover-text will be kept secret until the magazine’s release later in the year.

As we walk away we flip through the pages of issue two, beautifully designed by local design agency Frame creative and freelancer Kirby Manning. We can’t help but think that – like its editors – Krass seems out of place in Australia’s media landscape, let alone in that of Adelaide.

But it isn’t out of place, it’s of this place.

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