‘You need to tell a story about skateboarding with all its facets, not just gnarly trick skate shots on their own.’
You call your mag a ‘skatephotomagazine’. How is this different to your typical skatemag? Like don’t you have any editorial at all?
We neither have texts, articles nor interviews as we are not journalists. No one from the team likes to write. Even getting this interview done is a challenge (laughing). We let the images do the talking. First and formost, we are skaters, photographers and graphic designers.
Are there any other Swiss skatemags?
Not at the moment. There were some in the past. They tried to establish themselves but failed to do it over an extended period of time.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Tobias Anliker. I am the editor in chief and studied photography and design. The creation of the magazine was intended as my final assignment only during my studies.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of AJVT. When you look back, has it met your expectations to when you first started?
No as I did not have any expectations around the mag in first place. It was never intended as an ongoing thing. As I said, the book ‘An Jedem Verdammten Tag’ (‘Every damn day’) was part of my final assignment at school. I even did the binding myself with some help. The cover was made out of fabric. I released 100 copies and it looks stunning to this day. The pictures were all skate shots that I have done for the past 10 years to that point. After my assignment presentation I got hit up by my skate pals to turn this publication into a regular magazine and we currently work with 50 to 60 skate photographers.
What was your mark for the assignment and general feedback about your project?
There as no mark as such. It was just a pass or not. The professor that supported my project and evaluated it at the end was Peter Dammann, a passionate photojournalist who unfortunately died a couple of years ago. I really looked up to him. He is the reason why our mag does not just contain bangar shots. We are also publishing images that tell a story with portrait and lifestyle shots. This is the advice I was given by Peter. You need to tell a story about skateboarding with all its facets, not just gnarly trick skate shots on their own.
‘After my assignment presentation I got hit up by my skate pals to turn this publication into a regular magazine.’
Not only do you print on premium paper but the whole mag is free. Do you break even at all?
It’s magic or isn’t it? We don’t pay out salaries to ourselves. We all work for free. Also, photographers submit their work free of charge too. Hence, we do not have any costs apart from printing and distribution. Those fees are covered through paying ads and merchandising. So yes, the mag breaks even. Generating profit is not our driver. Making money through skateboarding does not align with our values.
Were there any ads that you declined because they did not fit into the mag’s philosophy?
Nope. We carefully chose our advertising partners ourselves. We therefore were never put in that situation to decline any requests.
How about Blue Tomato?
We will never approach Blue Tomato as personally, I find their business philosophy revolting.
‘No other skatemags in Switzerland has achieved this milestone and we did not expect to get this far when we first started.’
You released the 14th issue end of last year. Apart from financing it, what is holding you guys back from releasing more issues?
Financing is the least of our issues. First of all, we rather focus on a premium product which to 100% aligns with our philosophy rather than producing several issues which do not meet our quality standards. Secondly, we require around 120 images per issue as we do not have any editorial content.
What has been the proudest moment in the history of AJVT?
Has not yet arrived. 11. November 2023 is the release date of issue 15 – our 10- year anniversary book. No other skatemags in Switzerland has achieved this milestone and we did not expect to get this far when we first started.
What are your plans with AJVT?
As long as we are stoked to produce issues, we will continue the journey. It is not just a magazine. It represents friendship and the love of skateboarding.
Last question. If you could interview any person in the world, who would it be and why?
Donald Trump. I would like to ask him how some human beings turn into single- minded, disgusting and arrogant assholes. I would also like to slap him in the face.
‘It is not just a magazine. It represents friendship and the love of skateboarding.’