Security Code:

 

Issue 13: Rebellious Joy

When did you realize there was no “going back,” that your “normal” no longer exists, and that it was a privilege to have even had one? How has the scaffolding of your daily life or notion of free time, your sense of home or identity, your relationship to work and purpose, or your experience of joy changed since COVID-19 arrived? What have you recorded during this time, and what are you trying to forget? What was it — a perception, an interaction, a behavior, or a moment — that led you to uncover difficult truths? We must hold space for this time of existential introspection.

Who are we when we are just with ourselves? And what new version of community are we forming? When we scrape away the excess of our personal and professional relationships, our roles and our obligations, what is at the core of who we are and what we value? Our current systems — education, family, religion, and white supremacy — base themselves around and refine themselves toward a predetermined goal, but what do we do if we realize that our goals have changed? And what of joy, something that we have to be utterly aggressive in claiming these days? What does it mean to prize joy, to make it a personal discipline? How do we claim the kind of joy that creates a rupture for passage through all the horror and despair? 

Our responsibility to ourselves and to others grows increasingly consequential each day, but what happens when our values create realities that are at odds with one another? Perhaps hypocrisy is not just unavoidable, but necessary, to progress. Maybe we have to feel the guilt of our consumption in order to find motivation toward moderation and new ways of being. These systems are not broken — they are working exactly how they were designed to — and they rely on you staying silent. These systems are also not inevitable. The struggle is our legacy. For this issue, we are demanding questions, and invite you to ask alongside us: What does your existence in this changing world ask of you? And what do the questions you ask yourself, in turn, demand of those around you?

 

This issue published in April 2021. To get to know our 12-16 writers, please visit the issue here.