Earlier this month the news broke of the death of Dimitri Koutsomytis, who dedicated 14 years of his life to working with street papers, specifically Norway’s =Oslo. Here the magazine presents some of his best photography, which was just one skill Dimitri used to better the fortunes of the street paper and, in turn, its vendors.
With lockdown restrictions being pulled back in some areas, and the new normal of social distancing takes form, street paper vendors are beginning to return to the pitches they have been absent from as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread. INSP spoke to some of the publications who have begun street selling again about how they prepared their vendors and how they have managed.
You never see Rikke without Lukas. Rikke, an =Oslo vendor, is always in the company of her beloved husky, who is her constant companion. Rikke credits Lukas with helping her to navigate the most difficult challenges that she has faced. Now that Rikke has overcome her addiction to heroin, the pair are making the most of the joys that life can offer.
Megafon, the street paper of Bergen, Norway, has been going since 2007 but, this festive season, its annual Christmas book will be its last edition. However, Megafon’s closure is an example of the stellar work it has done rising to the challenge of addressing homelessness and poverty, to the point that it is no longer needed as an alternative income source for the city’s poorest people.
To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. In his letter, Asfalt’s Kjetil tells his 25-year-old self to calm down.
Sorgenfri editor Vanja S. Holst on the Trondheim street paper’s pivot to investigative journalism and how it became the focal point of its redesign
When Trondheim street paper Sorgenfri unveiled its new design at the start of 2019, it made in-depth, longform investigative pieces the focal point. The magazine’s editor Vanja S. Holst spoke to INSP about the reasons behind focusing on investigative journalism, how it informed their redesign and the process the Sorgenfri team undertake with each new issue. Sorgenfri is a finalist in the Best Design category at this year’s INSP Awards.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Kine, a Sorgenfri vendor and a musician, is inspired by Damon Albarn, musical polymath and the brains behind animated band Gorillaz, in both her music and her life.
TV show, ‘Petter Uteligger (Homeless Petter) – a New Opportunity’, has started airing on Norwegian channel TV2. The subject of the show is street paper =Oslo’s coffee shop, =Kaffe, staffed primarily by vendors, many of whom have a history of drug addiction. Petter Nyquist followed the =Kaffe gang from the get go, and all the way to Rwanda.
To celebrate #VendorWeek 2018, The Big Issue Australia took an in depth look at the ways street papers around the world are creating extra employment opportunities for the people who need them most. And what better way to learn about them than from the people who are employed by and benefit from them. Social enterprises featured in the article come from these INSP members: The Big Issue Australia, =Oslo, The Curbside Chronicle, Shedia and L’Itinéraire.
Only vendors know the realities of what it is like to sell Norwegian street paper Sorgenfri to the public. Last year, after being challenged to do so by a vendor, the publication’s Trond Ola Tilseth spent a day selling the magazine on the streets of Trondheim.
Norwegian street paper =Oslo has always been more than just a street paper, but now, after two years of preparation, =Kaffe, a trendy coffee bar in the heart of the country’s capital, has opened. The paper’s team believe this new endeavour will work in the same spirit as its parent publication.
Norwegian INSP members =Oslo, Megafon, Sorgenfri, Asfalt and KLAR came together to discuss how they will adapt to continue helping vulnerable people.