Teller Magazine
Edited Versions of Issues #1, #2, #3


 

In 2010 Teller was a new magazine, based in London and Berlin, that offered visual material alongside new writing to tell brilliant stories. Contributions were drawn from any medium or discipline that can tell a story on the printed page. They could be reports a real event, or be works of pure fiction. Often they were both and neither, combing fact and invention, documentation and imagination. Teller’s editors believed in the value of a publication picked up for pure enjoyment, and that intelligent ideas don’t need to be obscure. Focusing first and foremost on the universal appeal of a good story well told, Teller was both thought-provoking and a pleasure to read.

This was the official Teller website.
Content is from the site's 2010 -2013 archived pages, as well as from other outside sources.

Welcome to Teller, a magazine of stories. Stories told in pictures, in words, in both; short sharp stories, ‘so I once heard this story’ stories, stories of pure invention and stories that might just be true.

In Issue 1, Flavie Guerrand’s pictures, culled from hundreds of all-nighters in Paris and Berlin, tell the story of the ultimate party. Charles Trotter, a commercial photographer based in Nairobi in the 1950s, shows us the decadence of colonial rule in its dying days, while Damien Poulain pictures a congregation that has already passed away.

Julia Hayes commemorates a ritual cleansing performed in a 1930s London slum and Joe Dilworth introduces the bucolic disciplines of Hungary’s Peasant Olympics. Will Carruthers, Crispin Dowler, and Augustine Obeyeskera tell implausible tales of real life. Nina Mangalanayagam opens the doors to a gathering of her Tamil family in Europe, 
Lee Scrivner disturbs the peace of the  American backyard, and Thomas Rees goes for a ride in Russia.

It’s a miscellany, a platter for your enjoyment. Like an old sea dog accosting you at a wedding, fugitives from the plague passing time around the campfire, or just the rambling oracle propping up the bar, Teller will tell you the stories you always wanted to hear.

Issue 1 is out in October 2010.

Contributors issue 1
Flavie Guerrand
www.flavieguerrand.com
Lee Scrivner
www.leescrivner.com
insomnauts.org
Julia Hayes
hayesjulia.wordpress.com
Crispin Dowler
Thomas Rees
Seamus Murphy
www.viiphoto.com
Charles Trotter
www.imagesofempire.com
Joe Dilworth
www.joedilworth.com
joedilworth.blogspot.com
Nina Mangalanayagam
www.ninamanga.com
Will Carruthers
Damien Poullain
www.damienpoulain.com

Editors:
Katherine Hunt and Ruby Russell

Designed by
Neue Gestaltung
www.neuegestaltung.de

Published by Trolley
trolleybooks.com



Teller Issue #1


Welcome to Teller, a magazine of stories. Stories told in pictures, in words, in both; short sharp stories, ‘so I once heard this story’ stories, stories of pure invention and stories that might just be true.

Flavie Guerrand’s pictures, culled from hundreds of all-nighters in Paris and Berlin, tell the story of the ultimate party. Charles Trotter, a commercial photographer based in Nairobi in the 1950s, shows us the decadence of colonial rule in its dying days, while Damien Poulain pictures a congregation that has already passed away.

Julia Hayes commemorates a ritual cleansing performed in a 1930s London slum and Joe Dilworth introduces the bucolic disciplines of Hungary’s Peasant Olympics. Will Carruthers, Crispin Dowler, and Augustine Obeyeskera tell implausible tales of real life. Nina Mangalanayagam opens the doors to a gathering of her Tamil family in Europe, Lee Scrivner disturbs the peace of the American backyard, and Thomas Rees goes for a ride in Russia.

It’s a miscellany, a platter for your enjoyment. Like an old sea dog accosting you at a wedding, fugitives from the plague passing time around the campfire, or just the rambling oracle propping up the bar, Teller will tell you the stories you always wanted to hear.

London and Berlin,
October 2010

Contents

I slid across the dancefloor
Flavie Guerrand

/images/flavie-10.jpg

Potroom Willie
Lee Scrivner

Somerstown
Julia Hayes

The best story I ever heard at a party
Crispin Dowler

On Jangar’s trail
Thomas Rees

This time tomorrow
Charles Trotter

Augustine
Augustine P. Obeyeskera

The Peasant Olympics
Joe Dilworth

Awaiting further instructions
Damien Poulain

The loudest cow
Will Carruthers

The folds of the fabric Fall differently each time
Nina Mangalanayagam

 

I slid across the dancefloor

– by Flavie Guerrand –



Flavie Guerrand is a young French photographer now based in Berlin. Throughout the 1990s she was a committed member of the French underground techno scene. Having left home in her teens she organised parties in the old garage where she lived, and later turned an abandoned basement into a venue for live music, experimental film and performance arts. 

Picture: FLAVIE GUERRAND



‘I slid across the dancefloor’ condenses tender portraits of the people she collaborated and partied with over many years to fabricate the narrative of a single night of hedonism.

Picture: FLAVIE GUERRAND

 


 

Augustine

– by Augustine P. Obeyeskera –

I am a Catholic, but the thing is, the last two years I go to five different churches. St John’s has a lady vicar. The Baptist church across the road gives a lunch on Fridays, then I go to the Salvation Army in Hove — they’ve got another lunch on Wednesdays.
My mother was Church of England, but she decided to become a Catholic and that’s when all the trouble started. Because her father, Sir Solomon, was Church of England and he didn’t like it. No, and his son became a Buddhist, but he, this son, he got a bullet in his head. As a mark of respect they give a low bow to a monk or someone more important than you. Now, when he gave a bow to the monk, the monk pulled a revolver out of his yellow robe and shot him. Politics. This was November 1959. There are pictures on the internet. What do they say? That the Prime Minister was shot by a monk who was not right in the head.

My memory can go back a very long time. I can remember my mother used to go to her father’s birthday parties. That was about … 1946 it must have been. She used to say, “When you see my father, you give a low bow”. He was a large black gentleman sitting like a rod in his chair. And all the people would come with their grand saris and their posh cars. 
This was in Colombo. Sir Solomon was knighted — by Queen Victoria I think. I think so. I looked him up in the dictionary. It didn’t give the date he’d been knighted, it just said that he had been knighted. Sir Solomon, yes; a very great and powerful man he was. He used to come to England for important functions. You know, with everyone in uniform and plumed hats and this and that. Oh, he had about a hundred servants when I was little.

I came here in 1950 with my mother because she couldn’t get on with her father or her brother. I must have been about twelve years old, I suppose. When she went to Thomas Cook & Sons — the travel agency — they said she had to have identity cards and ration books and she went and filled in all the forms: who she was, who I was and why she’s come to England. After that she decided she’s not going to fill in any more forms. Once is enough. And she lived from 1952 until 1977 in total secrecy. We lived in a caravan. I wasn’t allowed to go to school or see other children.
As I was growing up I asked my mother, just out of interest, “Why am I not going to school?” 
“Oh, no, no, you’re not going. I’ll give you a bit of education and you’re going to look after me in my old age.” So that’s what I did.

My mother was a very particular lady. I mean, not fussy, but she had strange habits. She kept to herself as much as possible. That’s why the government or the council didn’t find out about us until she died. And do you know, on Monday 10th of January 1977 she decided to go up there. And guess what happened? The murder squad came in! The police thought I had killed her.

I was about forty when she died. And the police got the shock of their life. They asked me, “When you’re not cooking and washing for your mother what are you doing?” I said, “I play with my train sets.” You know those old train sets? Hornby Tinplate? I’ve got about twelve of those engines. Still have them.
There were six police vans pulled up beside the caravan. And what did I do? I had a little peep inside each one. It was most interesting, all the police equipment involved. I was very inquisitive. Now, anyone else would have kept away from them. I did just the opposite: I stuck to them like gum. Until Mr Taylor came and took me away to ask a lot of questions. Mr Taylor was the welfare officer for that district.

When the police questioned me I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was not frightened. I told Mr Taylor that the chief of the murder squad looked like a crook. He said he had to ask me some questions. Put it this way: when they checked the records there was no mention of me or my mother. Everyone’s on computers and on files. Now everything I’ve been doing since 1952 is on the computer. They can check on me now. It’s all on the records.
Anyway, they didn’t know what to do with me. Mr Taylor put me in an old people’s home in Heathfield. Because they didn’t know what to do. I stayed there for a week, then they moved me on to some lady’s large estate.



Photo: Kyna Gourley

There was a mansion and a lot of grounds and she had a caravan so I was put there for about six weeks. Once they put a calf by my caravan and it would look at me with its beady eyes. Then from the caravan I was moved to Hove. After a couple of months they found me a housing association flat.
Because I had not worked, so how should they go about it? I was sent for nine weeks to Portsmouth for job training. I got on very well with all the supervisors. But I didn’t like the other men I was working with — lazy lot! Oh, but it was most interesting. There were two young men whose hands were crippled. One of them had been in a motorcycle accident and could use only his right hand. 
After that I got a job in a tailor’s shop. They were Jewish. Very interesting, the Jewish. I used to bring pork sandwiches and then I found out they don’t eat pork so I brought in chicken and turkey. It was a very trustworthy job. I had the job of taking the money to the bank, from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. I think the welfare office must have told them that they could trust me. I mean, I’ve never been to school so I can’t forge a cheque or anything.

They used to send me to London to buy cloth. They sent me into Soho—you know, where the ladies of the night are. I had to go right through Soho and the birds kept eyeing me. With hardly anything on! And I passed a lot of clubs with the doors open. Oh crumbs! They had nothing on from the waist up, serving drinks to people. I could see in through the open doorways.

Doctor Wilkinson, of the children’s department — who asked me about seven hundred questions — said I shouldn’t stick in my flat all the time, I should go out more, so I said, alright, I’ll join a few clubs. Because sometimes I would stay in my flat for three days, looking at my trains. So then I used to go to a club where they show films about trains, buses, transport, that sort of thing. 
I used to sit right in the corner and just listen, but I learnt a lot of things. Once someone gave us a slideshow of London. And they showed us a house and said inside that house there is an atomic kettle. Something to do with the atom bomb. Now, the stupid fool of a government put it there in wartime and now they cannot remove it or the whole of London will go bang! So it’s under heavy guard. Wait ’til the terrorists find out — then there’ll be fun and games!

It’s very interesting, all those hush-hush things. Take Brighton station: there’s a rifle range under Brighton station where the railway men use guns. There are a vast number of spooky, eerie tunnels. Oh, all sorts of things under Brighton station. There’s even a little room where somebody murdered somebody. Long ago someone was murdered and put into a trunk. A man was in the room and he noticed the smell. It was in the Evening Argus.
Mr Taylor died of cancer a few years ago. I send photos to Mrs Taylor so she knows what I’m up to. Mrs Taylor knows my whole history so if someone tries to argue with me she tells them to go to hell. Do you know what I did? Mr Taylor’s gone, so I took Mrs Taylor and her daughter to a Pullman lunch on the Bluebell Railway. Mrs Taylor had never been inside a Pullman car. It’s like Buckingham Palace. Luxury train, all silver service, of course.

 



 


PhotoBook London, 2–5 September
Teller was at PhotoBook London at Hotshoe Gallery. Check out the PhotoBook London website for more details – a great programme of talks and events, and a really exciting book fair featuring new titles from independent and self-publishers. 


Contributor readings
Lucy Caldwell, Amber Marks and Salena Godden at the Teller 2 launch in July. With thanks to Laurens Steenbergen.
Amber Marks
Lucy Caldwell
Salena Godden

Teller Issue #2

Welcome back to Teller. Issue 2 brings you another helping of truth and lies, fact and fiction: this time with added bite. Not for the first time, we have found ourselves drawn to animal stories, so in this issue we let the theme run away with itself.

Ruby Russell and Miriam Elia give new meaning to the term political animal: from a report on Ceau┼čescu’s legacy to the dogs of Bucharest to canine totalitarianism.

Amber Marks, a world expert on the legal implications of smell surveillance, speculates whether Paul the Octopus might have joined the ranks of animal spies. Thomas Thwaites explores the overlapping territory of horticultural law enforcement, imagining a future of apian agents that is almost upon us.

José Navarro brings us back to more traditional working relationships between man and beast with his documentary of the Spanish trashumante shepherds’ epic journey. Amy Stein takes a sidelong look at our dislocated relationship to the natural world through encounters in small-town Pennsylvania, and Niven Govinden invites us to a nefarious hunter’s feast.

In other stories, Anton Koslov Mayr and Mark Boswell’s homage to Hunter S. Thompson casts political top dogs as unwitting protagonists in a work of gonzo photo reportage. Anna Hughes pauses an obscured conversation, and John Angerson joins a dry run at a space station. Lucy Caldwell depicts the pains of a teenage awakening, while Salena Godden awakes to something altogether sinister growing within.

Cheep cheep!

 

Contents

The United Nations is Decadent and drepraved
Anton Koslov Mayr and Mark Boswell

 

Juicy Fruit
Salena Godden

America’s Finest
John Angerson




Carry Me Home
Lucy Caldwell

Domesticated
Amy Stein


In Domesticated, artist Amy Stein explores the archetypal motif of man versus nature. More specifically, her photographs explore the tenuous relationship between man and animals as human civilization continues to encroach upon nature. Informed by actual newspaper accounts and oral histories from citizens of the small town of Matamoras in Northeast Pennsylvania, which borders a state forest, Stein’s photographs are inspired by true events.

Pulp Faction
Amber Marks

Room No. 6« & »Room No. 12
Anna Hughes

Policing Genes
Thomas Thwaites

Ceau┼čescu’s dogs
Ruby Russell & Bronwen Parker-Rhodes


Il Fascisto dog
Miriam Elia

The Trashumantes
José Navarro

Slaughterhouse Hospitality
Niven Govinden


‘Blokes who engaged in bar fights and proudly maintained beer bellies recognised it as a call to arms.

And in this way, initially here barks a voice with punch, with sarcastic perhaps even meaningful comment.

‘nature was rarely silent’

This is a short short piece. And I very much like the first four fifths, or even seven eighths.

But this strongly engaging first person narrative turns fairytale, first with allusions  of Hansel and Gretel, and then with a wicked witch ending

Not sold myself. Really liked the writing, didn’t enjoy the quip -joke conclusion which seemed to steal the meaning away from something that could have ( and I would argue, should have) been more.

‘They saw the typewriter on the corner table covered in a film of hair and dust, and they understood.

In short – and it is short – a well set-up story that is too easily given away.

Or…

A short piece that pulls you in, briefly entertains, before letting you off with a not-so-chilling joke, like  a cheesy quip that Hannibal Lechter might make from his over-stuffed first-class seat as the film rolls to credits.

Ha ha ha.   Fffffa -ffffffa.

At the end of the day do you believe itl?

‘It’d be a stretch but I could try.’

 



Teller 3 London launch, May 23

Teller 3 launch, May 23, at TJ Boulting in London with Iphgenia Baal and Oliver Harris

 

Teller Issue #3

Teller’s back, at work and at play.

Chiara Dazi goes wandering with woodworking travellers, Tatyana Palyga spends a day at the office and Chloe Dewe Mathews ends up in call centre central by mistake. David Gray and Paul Summers investigate labour and its remnants in England’s idea of north and Steven Connor buys a new USBstick.

We join Stuart Braun to hang out with the Parkies and hear the stories of Melbourne’s Aboriginal community, and Iphgenia Baal as she waits around for the council. Oliver Harris tells the story of a young soldier whiling away time in rural France on the way to war and Seba Kurtis pieces together fragments of Argentina’s bloody history.

Chris Floyd lets us in on golden days with the love of his former life, Nikesh Shukla introduces his gilt-armed best friend and Alexander Massouras tells the moderately cautionary tale of a craftsman with the Midas touch.

Contents

Gurgaon: Call Centre Capital
Chloe Dewe Mathews



The Chaperone
Oliver Harris



Colourless Days
Tatyana Palyga


Hanging on to Things
Steven Connor

The Gilderbook
Alexander Massouras



Union
David Gray and Paul Summers


The Big Stink
Iphgenia Baal

Unclassified (76-83)
Seba Kurtis

The Parkies
Stuart Braun


Wandertage
Chiara Dazi


The Man with the Golden Arm
Nikesh Shukla


Things May Change
Chris Floyd


 

 

 

TellerMagazine.com