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The quarterly magazine COLORS shows "the world to the world…[with] pages printed on non-glossy, recycled paper and clear, fact-laden, inspiring text," according to its website. Each themed issue is filled with photographs, stories about unlikely heroes, and facts. Summer 2012’s "Apocalypse," highlights a dozen apocalypse survivors, including Joblakk Allen, survivor of a Montserrat volcano who has been subsisting alone in the ashes ever since. "If you smell rotten eggs," Allen States, "wear your mask against volcanic gas. When attacked by feral cows, release your dog. Chase down a cow. Use your machete" (9). Noto Matsumura, survivor of a Japanese earthquake, is one of the only members of what is unofficially called "the Suicide Corps," because he remains in the radioactive Fukushima Daiichi so that he can care for abandoned animals. "People used to come here every year from across Japan to see the cherry blossoms," he exclaims, "Now when I walk through the town, I am alone. At night there’s no electricity…The evenings are when I get sad…This is a beautiful place, but the land here has to be decontaminated" (27).
"Transport," from Summer 2011, opens with the story of Mansoor, in Kenya, a man who collects "the garbage that floats" (7). The first–person story, or transcribed interview, includes uplifting anecdotes like "The people call me Captain Rubbish…I know plastic; I know wood. I know the percentage of wood that floats; I know the percentage of plastic that floats. I know that what I’m doing is perfect. The Century will never sink,". Sidebars contain facts like:: "In 2004, in the United States alone, 1,500 plastic water bottles were thrown away every second…The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an expanse of plastic waste the size of France that has massed in the Pacific Ocean…" (7). The graphic lay-out is simple and compelling, the photo–journalism inoffensive and beautiful.
COLORS, is indeed, as the publishers claim, "a pioneer in explaining how globalization is changing our lives and one of the first media outlets that encouraged people to think globally and act locally."
Reviewed by FIDM Staff Member Jaimy Mann