If you’re looking for something specific, you’ve got the internet. But a magazine should be about discovery – a place to find things you hadn’t even thought about, providing new perspectives on the talking points of the day, inviting you in on discussions between the people whose opinions count. I’ve always seen it as part of our remit to showcase emerging photographers, providing a platform for new talent to be seen by a wider public and by people of influence. This month, we’ve devoted most of the issue to our Ones to Watch in 2014, dropping our usual array of features as well as our Projects and Intelligence sections, to devote a full 61 pages to 30 photographers we believe are on the verge of something big. Plus it’s a positive start to the year – a way of looking forward after looking back in our December annual review.
But I’ve always been frustrated by these kinds of surveys, which so often limit their scope to a specific geography or age group or type of institution. There is no perfect way, just as there’s no easy way to define ‘emerging’, but what I have committed to is getting nominations from every place where there is a photographic culture made by people who have an active and proven engagement with emerging photographers. So we’ve reached out far and wide to people we know who fit that remit, and searched out people who could advise us, especially on territories outside Europe and North America. In that, we were not entirely successful, but we will continue to strive to improve it for next year, and I am nonetheless certain that, with the collective knowledge and experience of our 66 advisors actively seeking nominations rather than a random call for entries, this is the most far-reaching survey of its kind.