Freckle is an independently published magazine dedicated to celebrating the people and landscapes of Northern Ireland and beyond.
Freckle was founded in Autumn 2014 by five friends: a community gardener, and writer, an academic and two environmental lawyers. We had dreamed about providing constructive, empowering media that could be an antidote to the destructive negativity of the mainstream media here. We wanted to share the untold stories from all corners of this place – the quiet, powerful stories of real people living creatively, sustainably and peacefully.
As we sat around those first drafts of issue one, with mugs of tea and scribbled pages sprawled across the table, we decided we would try it. Why not? A few months later, a whole community of newly-found Frecklers had donated more than £5,000 through Kickstarter, and the first issue was written, photographed and printed. Freckle was real! Five years later, and the growing Freckle community has published eight issues packed full of nourishing stories and independent media, free from any advertising. More than thirty people contribute to every issue: writers and photographers, poets and illustrators, graphic designers and proofreaders. It is a gift, from us, to anyone out there who wants to celebrate the people and landscapes of Northern Ireland and beyond.
Our founding ethos continues, we hope, to shine through every printed page, as we remember the vision and dedication of countless ordinary people quietly working for a better world. Here are the three things we knew at our first meeting:
We know three things ...
We like Northern Ireland.
We think its a great place to live, and there are so many people who love their home, are sticking their neck out and doing what makes them feel alive. People are carving out their own stories in a time of grim predictions for the future of our planet; they are living sustainable, peaceful and creative lives.
We want to celebrate it.
We are good at telling stories in Northern Ireland. It’s in our culture, around our campfires, at our kitchen tables. But it can feel like the media is dominated by negative stories. We are interested in what gets people out of bed. We want to tell stories of what is really going on in Northern Ireland, practising slow journalism that documents and delves into the spirit of our times.
We want to tell stories of our people, landscapes and livelihoods.
We want to make something beautiful for people to read, a print magazine that is part of the conversation asking how we can live sustainably and peacefully in Northern Ireland. Freckle is a collection of empowering stories, with a sense of shared ownership: the magazine belongs to the people and places the articles are about.