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The evocative power of newsstands

From kiosks to ape cars

The evocative power of newsstands From kiosks to ape cars

The kiosk has long been a unique cultural dissemination tool, a political engine in its own right. The existence of newsstands popularized the genre of crime fiction and science fiction, employed students and young boys, and at the same time made information about current events accessible to people of all ages and from different walks of life. People bought each other newspapers and candy, conversed, exchanged small favors, and accessed otherwise inaccessible images. Many of the conversations, topics, or trends originated right on the newsstand shelves. Paper carried a special weight that the digital medium, no matter how hard it tries to reproduce the likeness and motifs of print, cannot - and perhaps will not - match.

As the authority of print media has waned, so has the habit of stopping by the newsstand once a day for inspiration from reference books and pens. First blogs, then social networks, influencers, Youtubers and finally a whole generation of content creators replaced those views that had to find their own dimension on paper. And the newsstand has gone out of fashion and is one of the endangered species, along with the grocery store down the street and the concierge in the house. In recent years, the gradual crisis of publishing has had a series of repercussions on the entire economic sector, of which one obvious phenomenon in Italy is the closure of almost four kiosks a day. Many kiosks have been forced to close their doors, others are holding on despite many difficulties, and still others are rethinking their activities, integrating them with non-traditional products or transforming them into service centers that support citizenship, culture and tourism. 

When hybrid and redesigned newsstands appear in Milan and Paris, it is a sign of still wanting to explore spaces and times that in today's reality are too quickly reduced to forms of immediate entertainment, depriving them of their more poetic dimension. The idea of neighborhood, of coming together and finding a common ground for reflection that is not limited to a certain number of figures or analyzes, can perhaps be interpreted as a distant need of contemporary man. The newsstand, which has undergone profound changes in its functionality and range of experiences, is now the place that has made resistance its narrative manifesto in response to a distorted, easy reality. The paper that the kiosks are willing to defend is perhaps one of the last bastions of the concept of insight. Protected, perhaps, from all the noise of the media that have abandoned the synesthesia of the paper. The newsstand, with all its glamour, is also the place chosen to celebrate ten years of nss magazine. From September 20 to 29, at Piazza XXIV Maggio 1 in Milan, we will celebrate sex with a pop-up where 10 brands, media, and creatives who have been part of the magazine's history will present tees created to celebrate a decade of nss magazine.