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74: Sabot: Hamburger Info Sammlung

September 5, 2011

I think I’ll keep exploring the covers of obscure ultra-left political journals for awhile! Although not exactly known for their graphic sensibilities, there are definitely some interesting looking antiauthoritarian political journals out there, including a whole bunch from Germany. Last year I picked up five issues of Sabot: Hamburger Info Sammlung (Hamburg Info Collection), a 1980s squatter/anti-imperialist/autonomen publication based out of Hamburg. It ran for 23 issues from 1985-1989. Because of its support of the armed wing of the German left (RAF, etc.), especially through printing communiques with little or no commentary, the publication was often facing state repression—publishers were arrested and imprisoned—and it was discontinued after the 23rd issue.
Although design-wise there is nothing too stunning about Sabot, what is cool about it is that the covers (and insides) present a great over-all sense of the aesthetics and self-representation of the German autonomen scene in the mid-late 80s. Collage and cut & paste dominate, which all kinds of source images being used, from international solidarity posters (issue #15 below) to archival photographs (issue #21 above), from photos of contemporary protests (#16) to graffiti and murals on squats (#22). All the covers I’ve seen are black and white, and the title is not particularly prominent of important. All of the earlier issues have a logo of a large sabot shoe with a black star within it, but that seems to have ended with issue #17 or 18. Many of the covers also maximize space by dully using the back cover for an entirely different image, sometimes even one more interesting or compelling than the front cover. The three guys chilling out with masks on that is on the back cover of #16 are hilarious, like a little slice of German 80s squatting life and humor.



AnarchismAnti-capitalismCulture & MediaGlobal SolidarityInspirationSocial Movements

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