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Makeshift Magazine Issue 4 – The Communication Issue

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A slender balloon floats over North Korea’s Bridge of No Return before releasing its cargo—messages from the outside world. Meanwhile, Chinese netizens break through digital walls to access censored media. For many, open communication remains a luxury. Yet people still navigate constraints of government and infrastructure to connect with each other and the surrounding world. At its most basic, communication offers access—to markets, to family, and to emergency services. Executed throughout a network, it changes the way we interact, forging communities and identities. Indeed, communication is critical to discourse. That’s why hackers the world over, even in the freest societies, are cracking open institutions of power to free information. Communication seems instinctive—from the first neural signal to the invention of language to the evolving forms we witness today.

The Content

  • Enther the Void. Chris Duffy chronicles messages sent across into North Korea by South Koreans seeking communication with their isolated neighbors.
  • Criminal Comms. Olivia Solon tracks new threats brought by ubiquitous communication, from black market SIM minutes to drone GPS spoofing.
  • Pleasure Hacking. Tricia Wang visits China's cyber cafes to investigate a national phenomenon that's breaking through the Great Firewall and building community.
  • Infographic: Speak my Language. Documenting our ever-changing chatter, including information pipelines and rapidly evolving languages.
  • Observed: Communication. A visual tour of Communication around the globe, from chalkboard blogging in Liberia to DIY satellites at the International Space Station.


  • Texting relief in Port-au-Prince
  • Nigeria's email scammers
  • How language affects saving
  • Net by motorcycle in Cambodia
  • South Africa's sheep call in theft
  • And more... 

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