Dear readers and contributors,
The Inklette team is happy to bring to you our tenth issue featuring, incidentally, ten stellar pieces of visual art, prose and poetry. Our submissions period was a difficult month for many, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the many faultlines, insecurities and disparities it exposed across and within countries, fields and systems. Still, we received hundreds of submissions and had to make the difficult yet creatively satisfying decisions of choosing the most compelling things to share with you all.
It does feel strange, however, to be releasing this issue at the moment. No one shares good news during a funeral. Here, in India, it feels like a second partition has occurred. It feels like a crisis of empathy, compassion, sensitivity, democracy, ethics. It feels like our government is a genocide-machine. Everyday I wake up thinking, reading or watching the news about the migrant crisis, mob lynchings of Dalits and religious minorities, arrests of students and activists, increasing violence against women and children, Islamophobic incidents, whispers from Kashmir, the curbing of dissent and public discourses. How will history remember us? As the people who moved on without mourning? As the people who stood silent and ignorant in the face of violence? I hope not.
Black people in the United States made the choice to come out on the streets once again to riot, to protest. They said ‘Black Lives Matter’ and we sing it after them. This is the anger that needs voice. This is the anger and the hope that I wish my country would come together to echo. I wish we rise up together to say: Dalit Lives Matter. Muslim Lives Matter. Women’s Lives Matter. Queer Lives Matter. Migrant lives matter. They always have. This moment is not more important now more than ever. To believe that is to anchor the voice of the oppressor, the privileged, the silent. I repeat: Black lives, Dalit lives, Muslim lives, Women’s lives, Migrant lives, Queer lives have all always mattered. I don’t believe that art, writing or education is devoid of the violence and oppression we notice around us. If anything, it may have a huge role to play in the creation and spread of it across ages. But today, it’s important for us to ask again: How will history remember us? How do we want it to remember us?
Aamir Aziz, a young Indian poet, wrote a Hindi poem titled ‘सब कुछ याद रखा जाएगा‘ which translates to ‘Everything will be remembered.’ And it will be. Today, Inklette Magazine releases quietly as we sit and act with reflection. We will be learning from our mistakes, taking a moment to mourn and hope, taking a moment to listen so we can proceed in ways that give rise to freedom, equity, equality and voice. The map is yet to be charted, and we are open to being corrected and critiqued. Everything will be remembered.
Sending love and care your way,