It’s time to get to know Axel Christoffersson, one of our two heads of Utblick Magazine!
What do you like the most about being head of Utblick Magazine?
Axel: To me, written words has always been a source of fascination. Poetry, novels or for scientific purpose – whatever form, it has an important role to play in a modern society. Being head of Utblick is to me an opportunity to share knowledge and perspectives through a very persistent medium (e.g. written words), which is a fantastic thing. Utblick also has a nice, timely feature, in that the writers face relatively little constraint in how much to write. When much of our information should be packed in 140 characters, it feels great to offer more extensive analysis.
What international issue concerns or provokes you the most?
Climate change and poverty/inequality. Reducing greenhouse emission becomes more urgent as time goes by, and it is very frustrating that so little is done. We have both technical and economical tools to use, but policy on the global stage sure is a slow thing. Yet everything points toward that it is totally rational to fight climate change, the social cost of doing nothing literary floods the costs of acting.
One aspect of climate change is the fact that wealthy nations usually emit much more CO2 in the atmosphere than poor ones, which has been proven a tricky point in climate negotiations. Reducing poverty and global inequality is therefore linked to climate change, but it also has great importance on its own. Even though I believe there always will be some inequality in a free world, it seems that some people are worse off than they needed be given the huge material wealth that has been accumulated over the last 100 years. This is a provocative and really tricky question.
Where do you get your inspiration for the magazine? Do you do any other writing besides Utblick?
One only needs to take a look in a newspaper to realize that we don’t lack relevant subjects to cover. As a writer, I find most of my inspiration in other’s writing and own thought, and the pairing of these two aspects usually turn into an article. As an editor, I think it’s really important to have a clear picture of what we should print in the magazine, but still give the writers as free hands as possible. It can sometimes be a bit of a balancing act, writing on international policy issues yet being politically independent.
I sure do, two articles a semester isn’t enough for me. I always carry a notebook if any interesting thoughts pops up in my mind, which sometimes turn into some kind of poetry. Apart from that I have a rarely-visited blog reaching seven years back consisting of mixed thinking and everyday life.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grow up, and why?
Seven years old, I wanted to be a paleontologist, searching for dinosaur fossils. I’m good at digging into the past, so I guess that goes along well… 😉
Name your favourite 1) magazine 2) movie character 3) travel destination 4) international food 5) politician?
1) Utblick (of cause), 2) Manfred from “Ice Age”, 3) Home (after a hard day’s work, or five days abroad), 4) falafel, 5) Angela Merkel.
If you are as curious as I am, visit Axel’s blog here: http://agch.blogg.se/