Teardrops On The Dancefloor

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Our editor reflects on another Rife team and where they go from here.

Every time this bit of my job comes around, I think it’s going to be easier to say goodbye.

I probably say that every time. Because it’s the only constant in this job. I have a good thing going here. I get to stand back and watch as some amazing creatives find their feet, their grounding and most importantly, their voice. Every damn time. It’s a wonderful thing to watch. Often, the team doesn’t need to do much other than offer a space to play and action points for improvement if things go wrong. Every time we get a new and exciting set of people in to make the magazine what it is, and I’m always blown away by the diversity of voices out there. The only reason Rife is a joy to read is because the voices belong to creatives who are brave, fearless, experimental and open to ideas.

At Rife, we try and get you to be better at the things you’re already good at, and get a taste of the things you’ve never tried before. We try and get you to write about the things you know about and the things you don’t. Where there’s resistance, there’s gentle pushing. Where there’s over-confidence, there’s gentle critique. I do believe that you don’t grow by being constantly told what would make you better. Instead, you grow with the support to visualise what you want to be. Our job, at Rife, is often to get out of the way as much as we possibly can.

I’ll miss Aisha, Ailsa and Jazz. They’re all fearless and wonderful in their own way. Whether it’s writing the truly personal, the utterly vulnerable or even just doing some public speaking because it’s on your job description, their willingness to try new things and old things they know they hate.

Stray memories from the last six months include:

The rush for the free food whenever it’s lying about at Watershed (consistent across every team).

The power stance. We subverted the Conversative Party Conference stance of 2015 with our own version — wide-eyed, wide-armed and open to opportunity.

Dancing. There was a lot of dancing.

You know that time when you find yourself saying a word repeatedly, even though it’s not in common usage, and it’s slightly ridiculous and everyone laughs: we had that with the word girdle. It was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments, but I’m sure even you, dear reader, can appreciate that the word ‘girdle’ is hilarious. Girdle.

That moment, when they NAIL their voice, their intent, their passion, their message, their story. Each one of these guys had that moment.

Girdle. See? I told you. It’s a funny word.

I won’t keep you with more ‘you had to be there’ moments. You really did have to be there. All you need to know is that Aisha Ailsa and Jazz did some good in their six months here. And Rife is irreparably improved for it.

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.