Editorial: A Special Week

30 January 2017 Amy Hetherington

Editorial: A Special Week

Bruce Springsteen was one of my first musical loves. I spent hours singing to his blue jeans-clad bum as I cradled the liner notes of my parents’ Born in the USA cassette, studiously learning all of the lyrics. Of course, a nine-year-old girl crooning about the desires and hardships of the American workingman may seem a little incongruous, but I loved The Boss’ soulful growl and ability to paint a singalong story. For writer Richard Castles (p19), Springsteen’s music also fuelled his youth; a “redemptive escape” that continues to course through his life. And for a glimpse into Springsteen’s life, we’re delighted to bring you an extract from his memoir Born to Run (p16).

Our vendors are the heart of The Big Issue; we celebrate their lives and stories in every edition. But there’s a special week every year dedicated to the thousands of vendors who sell 110 similar street magazines around the world: the International Network of Street Papers Vendor Week (6-12 February). INSP #VendorWeek is a global celebration of the vendors who are working in 35 countries to improve their lives.

As a reader and supporter of The Big Issue you are integral to our movement to combat homelessness and unemployment. Many of you have already discovered international editions of The Big Issue on your travels. We receive images from readers with vendors from London, Tokyo, Cape Town. It’s a souvenir with substance, directly contributing to those who need it most.

This issue, we celebrate #VendorWeek by interviewing vendors from around the globe, including Fay from Sydney (p22); Mark F speaks with Denver vendor Ann about their shared experiences (p26); Krystal H turns photographer to capture Luke M’s Vendor Profile (p5); cat-lover Cheryl tells how A Street Cat Named Bob inspired her (p31); and vendor Lukas explains who’s really the boss (p14). Hint: sorry Bruce, you’ve been usurped!

Amy Hetherington, Editor

This article first appeared in Ed#529 of The Big Issue.