Top Five Counter-culture magazines
Top Five Counter-culture magazines
By Alex King / huckmagazine.com
Jan 14, 2015

In tribute to Charlie Hebdo, we select our favourite radical publications which challenge authority with every issue.

Charlie Hebdo’s willingness to offend traces its way back to France’s radical post-war activists and intellectuals who helped ignite the student revolts of May 1968. Its predecessor Hara-Kiri was banned by the French government in 1970 for publishing a headline ridiculing President Charles De Gaulle’s death. Both magazines drew heavily on the ideas of the Situationists, an intellectual movement inspired by anti-authoritarian Marxism and avant-garde art movements like Dada and Surrealism, who were determined to attack – and ridicule – the social, political, religious and economic control that underpinned capitalist society.

Charlie Hebdo keeps the flame of this punk spirit burning brightly and carries the torch for freedom of expression by refusing to hold anything sacred. Its often-childish humour is a cover for a highly developed political consciousness that stands against authority, religion, capitalism and racism.

It does, however, exist within wider structures of power, which has led many to equate their portrayal of Islam as racist towards France’s marginalised community of five million Muslims.

Whatever you think of its content – and we are critical of some of it – the values of free speech it espouses are shared by Huck. So as Charlie Hebdo’s first issue after the Paris attacks goes on sale today, we select our top five counter-culture magazines who challenge and ridicule the powers that be with each edition.

Fuck You

Fuck_You_Sanders_ThirdAnniv

Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts ran from 1962-1965 on New York’s Lower East Side and featured contributions from Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, among others. It bridged the Beats and the hippie generation and was years ahead of its time, ridiculing taboos around sex and drugs, flying the flag for promiscuity, free love and psychedelics, and shouting loudly for free expression, long before these ideas were picked up by the bigger countercultural movement of the late 60’s.

Adbusters

Adbusters07Cover

For a radical magazine, Adbusters has all the credentials: it’s completely ad-free and has launched real world actions like Occupy Wall Street and Buy Nothing Day. The mag’s distinctive aesthetic comes from tearing up and subverting advertising imagery – jamming popular culture to spit propaganda and consumerist images back in the face of corporations and politicians.

Private Eye

Private_Eye_Cover

It’s a miracle that Private Eye continues to exist as countless legal battles have threatened to shut the publication down since its founding in 1961. It’s rude, immature and potty-mouthed – like all good satirical magazines should be – and has run rings around the establishment for decades; refusing to swallow their bullshit, exposing sleaze and providing one of the rawest and unfiltered critiques of British society.

Strike!

Strike

Strike! picks up the age-old tradition of political pamphleteering and updates it for the social media generation. It features powerful design and great writing from left-wing titans like Slavoj Žižek, Danny Dorling and David Graeber – whose quotes inspired Strike!’s recent ‘bullshit jobs’ guerrilla campaign on London’s underground.

The Clinic

Samuel 1 The Clinic 3a

The Clinic is pretty impenetrable without a strong command of Spanish and intimate knowledge of Chilean politics but its outrageously photoshopped cartoons often manage to vault the language barrier. Named after the Harley Street clinic where former dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in 1998, Latin America’s closest equivalent to //Private Eye has published numerous important exposes and deflated countess political egos.

3.8 ·
1
Featured Pay Per View Films
Generation Revolution (2017)
72 min
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min
Trending Today
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine11,449 views today ·
Samantha Bee Weighs in on Aziz Ansari and the #MeToo Backlash and It's Very On Point
8 min2,808 views today ·
Paramedic's Response to "Burger Flippers" Making an Equal $15/Hour is Beautiful
Craig Carilli2,731 views today ·
A Quest for Meaning (2017)(Free till Jan 29th)
88 min2,487 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,814 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley1,363 views today ·
The Surprising Nobility of Shit: a Serious Response to President Donald Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Remarks About African Immigrants
Adebayo Akomolafe1,065 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick657 views today ·
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action318 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

It's hard to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going.
If you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today.

Support us on Patreon

Coming soon! We're days away from launching a Patreon campaign! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year, and become 100% member supported!

Join us on Facebook
Top Five Counter-culture magazines