At the end of 2015 we decided we wanted to do something big to celebrate the IPF’s upcoming Five Year Anniversary. It had to be something special—a celebration of all the talent, passion and ambition gathered under the IPF banner. The project would have to showcase the international mix of our contributors and feature all the stories they wanted to hold high. Most of all though, this creation would have to honour the astonishing work already found on the IPF website.

Time passed. Then, as all good projects begin in the United Kingdom, the proposal to fulfil this daunting list of requirements was shared over a pint in a pub. A few email exchanges later we’d ironed out the kinks and set some dates.

We were going to make the IPF’s first ever magazine publication.

This meant risk assessment. Did we have confident writers who would live up to the strict deadlines? Did we have good ideas for stories? Could we find photos or illustrators? Print or digital—how would we publish? How would we distribute? What costs would arise?

It was scary at times. We were floating into new territory aboard a slightly shaky raft of lashed together blips of experience. But wave after wave, we managed to paddle forward.

A fantastic group of writers answered our call for pitches, bringing with them a bounty of ideas.

From the inspiring story of a Bristol DJ tackling problems of racism and sexism in the club-scene to brave youth in Venezuela sharing their dreams of change to young photographers displaying their perspectives of Africa—the stories you will see!

The final selection of contributors responded to our recommendations with zeal and carried that gusto straight through all the rounds of editing. The result is a collection of gorgeously polished long-form articles of the same calibre as established big-brand magazines.

We didn’t stop there. We also decided to try and gather a team of artists to illustrate these wonderful articles.

We knew it would be a bigger challenge than picking writers, because the IPF didn’t have an established pool of artists to pick from, however, we should not have worried! The call for illustrators brought so much talent within our sights it was difficult to settle for only two.

Soon we had all the ingredients and it was time to arrange them.

Then a tsunami appeared on the horizon, threatening our little raft of ambition. An emergency meeting with the IPF team left us with the knowledge that the IPF would be shutting down in June. With my heart in my throat I asked if the magazine would be continuing.

Yes. The magazine would now be a final gift to our dedicated contributors and readers. It would be the curated photo album, pasted together from a vast archive of five year’s of effort.

So, the next day, I began stitching together the words and images until, finally, a finished product sat on my desk. With a shaking finger I clicked “send” on an email designated to the editors heading the IPF. The jubilant responses kicked off another round of edits, which circled until we were wholly satisfied with the result.

What you will find below was made possible through the international outlook of a group of optimistic, enthusiastic youth with five years of collective experience.

We wrote. We grew. We fostered. Now we’re off to even bigger things!