This week we’ve got the pleasure of interviewing Elisa Medde, Managing Editor of international photography magazine Foam.

Published three times a year by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, the award-winning magazine serves a platform for all kinds of photography: from documentary to fashion and contemporary to historic. Each issue centres around a specific theme and features both world-renowned image makers and relatively unknown emerging talent.

Issues from the Foam Archive

Individuals and institutions can purchase fully-searchable digital subscriptions to the complete archive of the magazine, dating back to 2002, in the Exact Editions online shops.

1) What’s your role within Foam?

My official role is Managing Editor. I am responsible for the entire making of Foam Magazine, from the concept of each issue through research and production, until the moment it goes to print. 

I do this closely with Mariama Attah, Assistant Editor, and the designers Hamid Sallali and Ayumi Higuchi.

2) What attracted you to the magazine publishing industry?

I am an art historian by studies but I have always been a paper nerd, deep in love with books and magazines. So for me, the shift from curating walls to curating a magazine felt rather natural — magazines can really be portable museum spaces.

3) Who’s your favourite photographer and why?

I do not have only one, I rather have many favourite images. Amongst my favourites of the past are Tina Modotti, Karl Blossfeldt, W. Eugene Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, Gordon Parks, but the list can be very, very long…

4) If you weren’t working in publishing, what would you be doing?

I think I would work in a bookshop, or be a writer, or a herbalist. Or maybe all three at the same time.

5) Do you have an all-time favourite Foam issue?

With Foam Magazine I am like a mama to their kids — I cannot have favourites! But there’s a few which are very close to me, like Trip, Under Construction, On Earth, Propaganda and most recently Adorned and Play.

The ‘Adorned’ Issue, Published In 2019

6) Which country have you enjoyed visiting most?

I love travelling, and I would love to be able to do it even more. I love each country I have visited and there are still so many on my list. Still, nothing moves me like going back visiting my native island of Sardinia. Every time I set foot on its soil my heart feels full.

7) What do you think will have changed in the publishing industry in 5 years?

I think right now it’s a beautiful moment for independent publishing, even with so little money in the industry. 

The big corporations are not doing well, for many reasons, but small independent publishers are putting out there so much beauty, it’s amazing. There are a lot of beautifully crafted publications out there with a very high level of content. 

I think in 5 years there will be a slightly different equilibrium, there will probably be less magazines but very high in quality. There will be a lot happening in the digital world of course, but what is meant to be experienced in a slow way will still exist in print. You cannot turn off a magazine or a book, once printed, and that is a huge feature especially in our times.

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Thanks for taking part and for your valuable answers, Elisa!

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