Call for Submissions  |  Issue 8: Bridges

The next issue is about bridges and alliances - in loves, lands, identities, individuals, generations and time. Bridges defy boundaries; they span distances that are physical, imagined or simply felt. They are as obvious and tangible as arched wood or bits of string that tie keys together. Or they are as silent and invisible as ways of being that are shared by alienated groups, or in the very fact of individuals who possess richness that no one has ever yet thought might exist together, in one soul. Bridges can be as ephemeral as the acts of seeing, the little recognitions, that motivate us to experience "us" rather than "them", self instead of other.

The abyss they span, and sometimes even what is at their ends, can break hearts, souls, lives. In experiencing exile, in moments of alienation, we may come to see ourselves as so distant from others, our lands, or ourselves, that "we", or "they", are reduced to tiny dots on the horizon. The truth of this does nothing to shield us from despair. But seeing the bridges, and sensing their touch, can surprisingly heal us when perhaps we feel most alone. They are passages, they are bold, and best of all, someone already put them in place. In our very imagination of distance, we find that we are nonetheless, inexplicably, here. Who else is here? Who, or what, is on the other side of the we that is here?

Let's do this "we". A "we" that is not simply inclusive, nor exclusive, but itself borne of both "we" and "them". A "we" that is about the combinations: I-to-you, I-other-than-you; you-to-I, we-to-you, you-to-us, you-and-me, you-not-me. Bridges. Where are they in our lives, and how do they look? How do they feel? Let's map the territories we share in spite of ourselves and in spite of them; the territories that we do certain kinds of struggle within/over, either against or with each other, and hence claim to know in common.

QUESTIONS to start with:

How are these recognitions joyful, and how are they painful? How do they serve you?

How do you hold bridges to earlier times (histories) and earlier places (family origins) and your cultural heritages?

What do you recognize in your non-arab lovers? In the foods you eat, the ways you love, the ways you give, the ways you protect, the ways you comfort?

How do you experience bridges among the diversity of queer arab women, across spectra of gender, and with non-arab identities and worlds?

In the bridges you personally embody/occupy from within/without as a member of diasporic communities; a member of multiple families; a person of mixed descent?

How have bridges which you loved been misused, or abused; how can they do violence? --- Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2002
Text, fine art, and multimedia submissions are welcome.
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