It’s been a week of lasts. People sending in their last column, their last feature, their last news story. Saying their goodbyes. It’s our last issue and somehow we are here.
With our small team of (under)paid staff and around 230 volunteer contributors, Salient, for this year, came to life. We are indebted to you all. You people made Salient what it has been this year: all 24 issues, 1160 pages, and 91,000 copies.
Thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported us, and to the people who gave us shoulders to lean on. Thank you to the people who were right by our side through it all, unflinching in their support, there to celebrate the peaks and pull us out of the pits. Thank you Kate Robertson, Ella Bates-Hermans, Tim Manktelow, there’s no bond like going through this experience together—we can’t imagine having done this without you.
No one saw our every moment quite like Ella did. She was there when we were bleary eyed first thing Monday morning and strung out on Fridays. She took our vague ideas and helped us shape them into concrete ones, and made one of the most consistently beautiful magazines in the country. She saw us crying, freaking out, hysterical in the early hours of the morning. Walking into the office each morning to Ella was a privilege.
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Kate, from the first week you were interviewing politicians, chasing stories, and raising the young news writers. Your enthusiasm, energy, and brazen confidence pushed us—we pissed people off and challenged them and it was worth it. Your uncompromising support was an asset to us and we can’t wait to watch you kill it out there, no matter what you choose to do.
Tim, your ability to pull apart sentences and your meticulous eye for grammar and style made you one of our pillars. You balanced our crazy ideas with reason and came in every sunday to do the website upload. You held together the cracks, you are a genuinely great person.
Finn, we don’t know how do you do it: you manage to take our loose themes and churn out certified-bangers every single time. Faith, your words challenged us and our readers alike: you spoke your truth and tackled real issues. Laura, to see your words blossom each week has been a pleasure and to have had you as part of our team has been a blessing. Katie Meadows, you’re a fucking legend, enough said. Dana, thanks for somehow running the film section alongside your honours. Cameron, your pieces each week made the world of games accessible for even us. Cassie, your reviews were precise and powerful, and always helped us find our next book to read. Jason, thank you blowing your advertising sales target out of the WATER; thanks for the banter, the support, the legs, and the unpredictable smart/casual wear. Sharon, you killed it and you’re a hero to all sad single people. Matt, you were flawless and we learnt a lot from you. Brodie your column was our soul food. Joe, thank you for faithfully delivering magazines and sports columns, and thanks for the flowers. Etta, your writing has been so powerful. Visual arts editors, you are among the leading art writers and critics in New Zealand and talented artists in your own right. Theatre writers, you gave the underground theatre scene a chance to shine. News writers, it’s a tough, messy, demanding thing to turn a piece over as fast as you had to. Thank you for sticking to the grind and delivering the good stuff each week. Opinion writers and feature writers: your bravery, your craft, your imaginations brought our themes to life.
We wish we could thank every single one of you. We feel honoured to have worked with so many talented people. Your willingness to send through your words, time and time again, is a feat you should be proud of. We are so proud of you. These words affected people; whether your piece touched one person or thousands.
For us this year we wanted to go beyond the dominant narratives that tend to be most heard. To give space to new stories and voices. We’ve done what we could and you, our readers, are the judges of our successes. Some may be left wanting; this is a reality.
Thank you to everyone. We know this whole thing isn’t a personal thing, this isn’t for us, this is for Salient as an institution, for all students, for you—the student who found a home in these pages, who looked forward to a new Salient every week. Thank you.
Ka Kite Anō, <3
xoxo Emma & Jayne