For our second issue, we confronted labels. In a time where “white” and “privilege” are inseparable; “black” and “criminal” are interchangeable; one word defines entire continents; war refugees are deemed terrorists; racism is confused for freedom of speech; stereotypes pose as labels; disagreement leads to silence; and power requires us to be uniform, we have become less open, less willing, less radical. We are at war with words, where they are used as a masquerade and not for their meaning.
This leads us to be locked inside labels, battling between the ones that have been forced upon us and those we choose for ourselves. The labels that are imposed upon us often serve those in power by reducing us, flattening the complexities of life. But the labels we choose for ourselves liberate us, giving us agency to belong, to assert our identity, to fight this erasure. The way out is not by removing them, but understanding their limitations, and creating new labels to free ourselves from the narrowed views of each other and ourselves. The very way in which we begin to process the world, after all, is through the lens of labels, categories, and dichotomies, and so maybe this is where we must begin.
We have all wronged each other in understanding. For this second issue, let us confront the labels and the friction — within us first — and then between us. We are often inclined to identify the areas in which we were mistreated, but rarely do we think about the myriad ways we have assumed the worst of someone for something as obvious as the color of their skin, the way they sound, the clothes they wear, or the way they pray. The better we can think of ourselves as part of the problem, the farther we can go in finding practical solutions.
Below are links to the pieces, which you can also find them under Archives, Issue 2.
- بروكلين — بيروت | Mohamad J Hodeib (el-Walad)
- In Less than 365 Days | Jennifer Tan
- Bringing Him Back | Lana Radosavljevic
- Two Stories About Us | Svetlana Beggs
- The First | Alex Hazlett
- No One Calls Me Chris | James English
- Of Superheroes and Real Life Villains | Artrit Bytyci
- Asymmetrical We | Nick Mwaluko
- Somewhere Between Black and White | Glynn Pogue
- The Gaumont | Atar Hadari
- The Acquiescence of Motes (Purity) | Lynsey Griswold
- A Short History of Hysteria | Christina Shideler
- Three Poems by Jessica Goody | Jessica Goody
- Four Poems by Tina Fish | Tina Fish