According to the dictionary, to tamper is to ‘interfere with (something) in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations,’ and that’s exactly what Tampered Press is here to do!
[image via Tampered Press]
Tampered Press is a new Ghanaian literary and arts magazine with the goal of publishing the work of emerging and practicing writers and visual artists – with a bias for Ghana, and Africa. The magazine launched during the summer – July 14th, with it’s first issue: The Future Present. I wasn’t able to attend the launch, but I did buy two copies of the first issue and fell in love with the overall stellar quality of the magazine.
What I enjoyed most about the first edition is how unapologetically Ghanaian it is: from the illustrations, to the poetry, short stories and the essays – it’s just really exciting to witness great work being produced by creatives in Accra.
I simply love the overt advocacy for the arts ingrained into every page of this magazine and had to catch up with the editor & creative director – Ama Asantewa Diaka, also known as ‘Poetra Asantewa.’ In this book chat, Poetra Asantewa gives the gist on Tampered Press’s conception, the magazine’s intended audience and more. Enjoy the mini conversation I had with her below!
(note – ‘PA’ represents Poetra Asantewa’s responses)
- Before we get into talking about Tampered Press – Poetra Asantewa, what are you known for? What is your passion?
PA: I am known widely for poetry. But I am passionate about writing – which takes the form of poetry, fiction or non-fiction.
- How did the idea to create this Ghanaian literary & arts magazine come about? Who was involved in the process? Why the name – ‘Tampered’ Press?
PA: I think books (writing) are a necessity in every community. But the process of getting published in the Ghanaian community, to the best of my knowledge, is so few and far in between that Ghanaian authored books are either largely independent (and thus limited reach), or so rare when it is traditionally published. The publishing industry is a deep dark hole that deserves a ranting of its own, but I strongly believe that the best way to attempt to dismantle the vastness of it, is to create our own platforms – no matter how small and in which ever form. That is what birthed the idea for Tampered – the name was decided on because in as much as it is small – its aim is to stir the norm, – to disturb. Tampered was a very collaborative process. I may have spearheaded it but a community of writers, poets, designers, and editors brought it altogether.
- From the About section of the magazine’s website – ‘The goal is to publish the work of emerging and practicing writers and visual artists, with a bias for Ghana, and Africa.’ So is it safe to assume that the magazine’s intended audiences are Ghanaians and other Africans?
PA: YES. The magazine’s intended audiences are Ghanaians and other Africans.
- Sounds good to me! The quality of the first issue – The Future Present, is very impressive. What do you look out for in the visual arts, short stories, fiction/ non-fiction pieces and poems you accept for publication? What would you like to see more/less of in the submissions?
PA: In the spirit of collaboration – I think marrying the arts together increases its individual reach, and especially for a country that is not privileged to have an industry for each of the arts, it makes more sense to pair up visual artists with writers, or essayists with musicians – or any other pairing that widens the audience reach.
So every submission is going to have these markers – a combination of different genres and art.
- I hope Tampered Press receives lots of submissions in the future, so that forthcoming issues are thicker! I know it’s quite early, but what’s in store for the future?
PA: Consistency in both quantity and quality is my first goal – to be able to create enough interest so artists submit for every issue – both digital and print. To create a reliable platform that also serves not only as a publishing hub but an archive for Ghanaian artists.
Guidelines for submissions to the magazine are – here.
My favorite pieces from the magazine are:
- On Pondering a Familiar Phrase – a timely essay by Moshood and illustration by Poetra Asantewa
- A Tray of Eggs – an unpredictable, fun short story by Pamela Naaki Tetteh
If you’re in Accra, purchase a copy of the magazine from ANO Ghana’s office in Osu. If you’re outside of Ghana and would love to indulge in the work of Ghanaian creatives in this magazine, download Issue 1 via Tampered Press‘s website and stay tuned for the other issues in the coming year.
Familiarize yourself with Poetra Asantewa’s work via her YouTube channel; listen to her EXCELLENT 2015 Spoken Word EP – Motherfuckitude & listen to her other projects on Soundcloud as well!