Podcast: Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum, Amsterdam

by Steve Watson in October 2017

Magazine fans are spoiled for choice here in London – we have a selection of great shops scattered across the city, selling a fantastic range of independent titles. But even for somebody used to that sort of selection, there’s something special about Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum in Amsterdam.

It stands on the corner of a lovely square that hosts a book market every week, and there are a range of other book shops all tucked in together amongst bars that spill out into the street. There’s a sense of real print heritage to the place, and at the heart of it all stands an Aladdin’s cave of independent magazines, which itself tumbles out onto the street with obscure indies sitting alongside favourites like The Gentlewoman and Cereal.

I was in the city in June this year to take part in an event with Migrant Journal (we released the audio from that in a previous episode) but while I was there I took the opportunity to speak with Marc Robbemond and Reny van der Kamp about the work they and the rest of the team do to ensure Athenaeum stays at the cutting edge of independent publishing. The shop has been open for more than 50 years, and it was interesting to hear that over the last eight years or so, it’s the independent magazines that have really taken over the shelves.

If you’d like to hear more tales from the independent magazine world, check our Soundcloud and iTunes for lots of conversations with magazine makers, and remember to follow us while you’re there so we can deliver next week’s episode to you as soon as it’s ready.

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