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Nous: The Work Issue: Jobs, Identity, Affect & Conversation

21 augustus 2016, Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

Nous is a stunning biannual trio-tone riso publication from Manchester, UK. Their uniquely themed issues all swirl around topics of mental illness, in one form or another. Their aim is to converse, to break open stereotypes and create a chance at an open-minded society. Through various essays, short stories, topical articles and even poetry they aim to "help remove the prejudice following people affected".

 

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Nous is a magazine to read, not simply to look at - despite its wonderful appearance. Independently published in three colors that vary every issue, the simplicity of its design is stunning as well as practical. Added swag, such as stickers bearing the lines "these things take time," or "I am human and I need to be loved" add to the magazine's playful character. But like we mentioned, don't be fooled, Nous isn't for the faint of heart - it's a magazine that makes you think, question, and want to respond (and hey, they work with open submissions, so why don't you?).

 

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When you look up the word 'nous' in your dictionary you'll indeed see it means to divide between fact or fiction - what is real? What is true? What's inherent to the way our mind operates - how do we process, react, think? Of course in French, 'nous' means 'us' - an apt title for a magazine that deals with you and I, all of us together in society. Each issue Nous tackles a theme and attempts to explain "one chapter of our mental health". Their summer issue, ironically, deals with work. Work, jobs, whether sat behind a desk nine to five or working 24/7 - on average work takes up more (!) than half of our life.

In the current issue Nous looks at work through various lenses: how does work influence us in a negative way - creating stress, unhappiness, or even depression. Social pressure, financial struggles, are these key to a shitty job? Is there even such a thing as a bad job? Yet, on the other side of the double-edged blade that is life, Nous looks at passion, drive, the fulfillment work can give a person. What is the dream job, and does it exist? In what way can you gain satisfaction from what you do, and how can it negatively influence your daily life? Work, as a "personal struggle, a social identity, a dream", across cultures, generations, the world. Has work made earth a finer place to be, are we made to work? These and many other statements, open-ended questions, life-altering realizations Nous touches through fiction, non-fiction, visuals and creative writing in every form.

 

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"The Work Issue is a call for patience and understanding, it's an invitation to rethink our working life. It invites you to take a coffee break, slow down a little," write Lisa Lorens and George Odysseos in Nous's editorial. The issue contains many young adults looking for answers, hard workers, retirees, nurses, social workers, janitors telling their tales of work - whether struggling, loving, living or deciding. As Lorens and Odysseos aptly put it: "work can be your demon but also your inspiration and foundation to a happy and healthy life". Nous is for the modern mind, it's empathic, it thinks, it lives. It's built up from many voices, so chances are you'll disagree, or agree, with few or many. Yet whichever it is, trust us, you'll be challenged.

Get your copy here.

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