The Caravan completes three years

08 Feb,2013

By A Correspondent


In January 2013, narrative journalism magazine The Caravan completed three years. The magazine, which was earlier in publication from 1940-88, was re-launched in 2010 as a long form narrative journalism magazine dedicated to politics, culture, art and literature.


The third anniversary special, which came out in January 2013, had the theme of journeys signifying a sense of movement and experience – Howard W French on Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions, that is at the centre of the global cell phone trade; Deborah Baker on the Auden brothers, one a poet and the other a mountaineer, during the twilight of Empire. The cover story was on Dibakar Banerjee, one of India’s most exciting and creative new directors.


In the December issue of 2012, The Caravan came out with a Media Special that reflected on the state of the Indian media, noting its major transformations, possibilities and limitations, and the expectations of those who create and consume it.


Since its re-launch in 2010, the magazine has tried to reach out to a different readership that looks for nuance and perspective in the stories: whether it is of Manmohan Singh’s precarious leadership, the story of the Hindu Right in the rise of Narendra Modi, or Samir Jain’s ordering of the print universe through Times of India. The Caravan’s 2012 story on the remains of the Sri Lankan war was awarded an award for humanitarian journalism by the International Committee of the Red Cross.


The Caravan has seen increase in circulation from 15,000 to 45,000 in these three years. Over 175,000 unique visitors have viewed The Caravan’s new website since its October launch.


The magazine has also been organising Caravan Conversations – literary forums, discussions and conversations across the country in an appreciation of arts, culture, literature and politics. These events are organized in bookstores, art galleries, cafes, and literary and cultural centers. Over the past three years, the magazine has organized more than two-dozen such Caravan Conversations.


Recently The Caravan brought its unique narrative style to the world of fashion and lifestyle, with the richly produced Caravan Style and Living magazine. The inaugural issue of CSL came out in May 2012, and the second issue in November 2013. The third edition will be offered along with the March issue of The Caravan.


In February, the magazine also launched a new science and technology magazine, Periscope. Periscope’s first cover story tells the story of Santhi Soundarajan, the Indian athlete stripped of her silver medal at the 2006 Asian Games at Doha thanks to a failed gender verification test. Other stories include a short evolutionary history of the human hand, an examination of the changes the technology of hidden cameras has unleashed on today’s society, and a report on the advances made in genetic research that would allow the duplication and manipulation of personal genetic blueprints. Both Periscope and Caravan Style & Living are being offered along with The Caravan.


In January, The Caravan magazine also launched its new initiative to recognize the most vibrant cafes and bookstores in three cities in the country - Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru – and promote them as Caravan Quarters. The Caravan Quarters is an initiative to curate and identify hubs that define the cultural and literary character of a city. Towards this end, The Caravan has long-listed 150 cafes and bookstores in the three metros. Through a process of reader/consumer voting and jury evaluation, The Caravan will identify the most vibrant cafes and bookstores from within this long-list as the Caravan Quarters.


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