Our media does not reflect all of our world. It never has. Regardless of the outlet, publications remain local, bound by national structures that determine value based on origin. Our news and media focus on hegemonic powers that have long dictated trends in art, literature, and culture.
Xeno is seeking to create a space that treats news, culture, and food from around the world equally. We aspire to provide an honest challenge to publications that claim to be arbiters of “world taste,” yet only publish content about three or four wealthy, powerful countries. We want to push back against the idea that a handful of renowned, high-traffic magazines based out of the United States or Europe can determine “success” for a writer or artist.
Xeno will provide our readers with an opportunity to interact with the world around us by turning away from stories emanating from traditional centers of power, and instead focusing on stories from and about the periphery. Xeno will not publish stories about the United States.
We launched our call for submissions in August 2018. We are accepting articles, essays, recipes, bits, bops and what have you on a rolling basis. All pieces that are submitted before September 30, 2018 will be considered for the inaugural issue.
We will launch the first issue of Xeno in late October, and we will then continue to update content weekly.
Why do we need money?
First, we need to pay writers. We are committed to paying writers for their work for Xeno. If we raise $4,000, we will be able to pay about $0.07 per word for the first batch of articles, which isn’t a lot, but it’s something.
Second, we need to pay for our web hosting. Websites have become cheaper, but they’re still an expense to consider. Our current web costs are about $300 for the year (through August 2019).
Third, we need to pay ourselves. This might not happen initially, but over time, we would like to be able to pay our editors and designers. The team has been unbelievably kind and they have volunteered countless hours to prepare for our launch. The workload will only increase as Xeno gains momentum. Xeno only exists thanks to their work.
Who are we?
We’re a group of young professionals who believe that talent is not determined by nationality or background. We believe in multiplicity and variety. We are tired of reading about the same three countries in magazines, books, newsletters, and the news.
Our Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Dominique, was born in Mexico, studied in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Shanghai and Boston, and now lives in New York, where she works in publishing. She really likes watching dog videos and listening to music laced with heavy synthesizers.
Cian, Co-Founder, was born in Belgium, and has lived in France, Canada, the Netherlands, the UAE, the U.S., Germany, and the Czech Republic. He currently lives in New York, where he also works in publishing.
We’ve been unbelievably fortunate. We have had the amazing opportunity to travel widely, study deeply, and live thoroughly. Our movements have taught us that nations and borders constrict our view of the world. We want to create a space that looks beyond these false boundaries to the broader links and currents shaping people’s lives. Xeno, however, will not be a travel magazine.
Risks and challenges
Challenges come aplenty. We all suffer from information overload. It is hard to break into the online publication world. It is a lot of work to edit and maintain an online magazine. It is difficult to get consistent submissions, and produce sufficient content to keep readers engaged and invested. But we believe in Xeno.
If we don’t do this, we risk allowing more time to go by without a publication that features writers, artists, musicians and creators from around the world. We risk allowing magazines and publications to continue to focus solely on news and culture in the United States. We risk continuing to drown in a sea of the same news, from the same people, about the same things. Most importantly, we risk missing out on the opportunity to create community. And that’s really all we’re here to do.
- (33 days)