By Flavia Gouveia
The latest print issue of VIEW magazine which investigated the Cost of Living crisis was officially launched yesterday (January 31, 2023) at Queen’s University Belfast.
VIEW editor Brian Pelan said: “Today many citizens are experiencing brutal hardship. We only captured a snapshot of that lived experience.
“We at VIEWdigital are small but our aim is to shine a light on issues such as poverty and austerity and to examine why these things occur and what we can do about them.”
Professor John Barry from Queen’s University, who contributed to the issue, praised the magazine which contains more than 20 articles. They range from personal accounts of the effects of the crisis to more detailed explorations of the impacts on groups such as single mothers.
Prof Barry urged those in privileged positions to act. He said: “We don’t have a poverty problem. We have a size of wealth problem. Austerity is a choice.”
Other speakers included guest editor Dr Ciara Fitzpatrick who, along with guest editors Siobhán Harding and Andy McClenaghan, helped edit the magazine, said: “Everybody should be reading every single article in this magazine because they provide such a good view of what is happening in the fabric of Northern Irish society at the minute.”
During her speech Dr Fitzpatrick urged people to think about solutions and how meaningful change might be secured.
Siobhán Harding, from the Women’s Regional Consortium, said: “This is a really important issue of the magazine. It is a tough read and that is a reflection of the times that we are living in”.
She praised the magazine for shining a particular light on the impact the crisis has had on women and the valuable work community organisations have done to support people throughout the crisis.
VIEWdigital supporter Frances Connolly, who addressed the meeting, said: ““The thing that really scares me about this crisis is that the people who are suffering at the blunt end of the crisis have no energy left and they have no time either. Their time and energy is just spent on surviving. And when you’re struggling it’s very hard to do anything else.”
Editor Brian Pelan concluded the speeches by paying tribute to each of the contributors and guest editors saying: “Without them this issue would not have been possible.”
Brian also paid a special tribute to Ellen Moore who was featured on the front page of the magazine. He said that Ellen encapsulated a sense of defiance which was necessary in terms of combatting the effects of the Cost of Living crisis.