Good reads: Perdiz and Above Sea Level

Our latest pairing of interesting magazines includes a bilingual biannual magazine about happiness and another about the culture of wine

Photography by Borja Ballbé; Art direction by Querida
Photography by Borja Ballbé; Art direction by Querida

Perdiz, Issue 7 – happiness is contagious 

‘Feliz como una perdiz’ is a Spanish phrase which loosely translates to ‘as happy as a lark’ – though, technically, a ‘perdiz’ is a partridge. Either way, the happy bird lends its name to this “magazine about things that make people happy”.

A part of me approached this theme with caution, expecting a fluffy, rainbows-and-unicorns approach. But to my surprise I found a quirky little magazine with a unique take on a somewhat broad theme. And, as promised, it was full of little things that made me smile.

Each issue starts by profiling people who do what makes them happy; the marijuana-growing nuns in issue 7 stole my heart. Also recurrent in every issue is a main photographic feature; this issue’s feature, entitled Phenomenal, is a story about people who believe in or allege that they have encountered UFOs.

Perdiz is a biannual bilingual magazine founded by Barcelona-based Marta Puigdemasa. Stories are written in either English or Spanish, translated into the other and both versions are run alongside each other.

Puigdemasa tells us this expands the magazine’s reach, and has got some interesting reaction from readers. “Some people who are studying English or Spanish have even told us that besides being a fun read and a beautiful object, they use Perdiz to improve their language skills.” 

Perdiz on Instagram @perdizmagazine. The magazine has a very interesting crowdsourced feed; people send in images that bring them joy
Perdiz on Instagram @perdizmagazine

Above Sea Level, Issue 1 – on wine, among other things

This new biannual magazine sets out to establish links between the culture of wine drinking and other creative disciplines like design, architecture or photography, thus giving readers a “different and more accessible way to engage with wine”.

“The hope is that people who are interested in travel, design, food and culture will pick up the magazine, and come into contact with wine in a natural way,” says Editor Aimee Hartley. Issue 1 achieves this with, for example, a feature about the wine labels – accompanied by some beautiful photography – and another about about the risky business of catching abalone (edible sea molluscs).

Each issue will focus on a different region, celebrating winemakers and wine traditions of the region – and is produced in collaboration with local contributors. The magazine debuts with a California issue and the region has provided inspiration for some very interesting stories, such as a particularly dreamy piece about the role of swimming pools in shaping the Californian psyche.

The next issue, we’re told, might be all about Portugal.

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