Beside Magazine was born as an idea of two young female writers who have recently moved to London and fell in love with it. Their newborn project offers a personal, and always subjective, way of sharing their observations and experiences as they continue on enjoying the life in the vibrant capital of the UK.
That’s why, whatever is vivaciously contagious in terms of culture, lifestyle or people is more than likely to appear in Beside – with special attention to those small, but priceless, voices, events and performances normally not given enough time and attention by the traditional, well-renowned magazines.
Both of us, coming from a minority background, craved an opportunity to return to what we love doing – writing, expressing ourselves, making others heard, as we did during our previous journeys as journalists. Created for everybody who is in London for a short or long stay, Beside’s personal approach is strongly shaped by the owners who are also fairly new to London. We want to help you to ease yourself into the bustling capital of the UK – maybe you wanted to return to your hobbies after the relocation and you’re not sure where to start, maybe you want to start by taking smallest steps and picking up on good recommendations? We’ve been there. We’re with you.
Soon after starting our project, we realised it can be a perfect outlet for our interests too – film obsession could be poured over into a blog post, and so could a review of a new book we’ve read or a place we’ve visited. Now, we write about the culture and lifestyle in a city which we both admire. There are no creative boundaries for us that way. We highlight what we love, and stay positive, bringing you alternative culture news (without alternative facts, though).
What’s in a name? If you’ve ever bought a vinyl single, you’d see that it has an A-side, that normally contains the hit, and a B-side, with another song that’s not meant to gather as much interest. But many, many times you can find lovely gems there that will stay with you for long, even if they’re not as popular with those who’d only stay tuned to what’s popular on the FM waves. With a little tweak (and Kasia’s crooked pronunciation), we switched it over to Beside: because we’re looking for things that are next to you that might be these hidden gems. And it is well known that we’re beside ourselves sometimes, but never beside the point. The idea for the name came during the uni times for Kasia – but she found a match for her creative enthusiasm in Chelsea, where she and Emi met.
But who are we? Kasia Kwasniewska was previously a journalist for Gazeta Wyborcza in its Radom division. She also wrote for the eRadomianki.pl, the magazine for women, also showing her personal take on the city in her documentaries for Panorama Radomska. She holds an English Language and Creative Writing degree from the University of Westminster. Emi Pastor wrote for The Baltic Times (Latvia) and was a journalist for Agencia Efe, also working freelance for diverse radio stations and newspapers. She received a degree in journalism (Universitat de València) in Spain. They came to London in 2013 and 2015 respectively, and in 2016 they have started Beside as a small project with big enthusiasm and a mix of articles, stories, interviews and reviews that only such encouraging city as London could inspire. Now, we work with a little team of our friends and contributors we’ve met online – and all of them are what makes Beside the space it is, handcrafted with love.