This is our issue about 'decolonization.'
It's art directed by S P A C E collaborator, artist and zinemaker Abdul Dube. We've included his work on the cover of this issue, and asked him to share his ideas, poetry, and personal stories as we began to build this together. One year in the making, this issue spells out for the layperson what 'decolonization' is, and why that matters.
For example:‘Decolonization, as we know, is a historical process: that is to say it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear to itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and content.... Let us admit it, the settler knows perfectly well that no phraseology can be a substitute for reality. —Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1963, in this article, 'Decolonization is not a Metaphor' at Waterloo.ca
We're launching it this weekend, to coincide with our appearance at the Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne, a virtual event this year. Many thanks to those who had a hand in inspiring this piece, including, and not limited to: BA and others.
About this issue
Poetry and art by S P A C E contributing art director Abdul Dube.
The lead story is, 'How Can I Decolonize Myself' by S P A C E contributing editor Michael Bridgett, Jr. This issue would not have been possible without the background research that was undertaken by S P A C E contributing writer and thinker Michael Tharamangalam. Design and editing by DK Creative Director Dipika Kohli.
'Jump into my time machine and we fast-forward to today, and where I find myself with [the work of] collection, promoting and archiving zines, from all over the globe. I found more curious folks doing what they do, loving it still, hunting down Xerox machines and producing . We’re getting closer and closer to the decolonial approach I am on right now... making and ‘handing over’ these tools to youth is vital to its survival. Even though the zine is ephemeral, the idea of self-creating independently of rules lives on in the personal that has something to say, and, importantly, something to express.'
Michael Tharamangalam is a thinker, writer, and critical educator currently based in Germany. 'I combine my experience in international development, pubic policy, and education to create effective products and services for governments, NGO's and industry... I am interested in the personal and political dimensions of healing and decolonization.
'Rapprochement to me represents the most personal end of that spectrum, with the only political angle being the incorporation of outsider perspectives into public discourse. With Netflix shows being a barometer of mainstream ideology, and incorporation of outsider perspectives into public discourse, I'm opening an inquiry into how a truly decolonized politics could go forward.'
In Tharamangalam's work, the personal and political are combined in a reflection on the role of the critical educator in promoting genuine change without dampening youthful enthusiasm.
Michael Bridgett, Jr.
‘I believe in the power of spontaneity and improvisation–the creation of something powerful in the moment,’ says Michael Bridgett, Jr., also known as Mike Dynamo, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Phnom Penh. ‘And possibly never to be seen again. It allows me to be fully present. When I perform, I draw on the energy of the crowd and the people around me, amplify it, and give that energy right back, ten-fold. It’s my superpower... In my writing, I strive for honesty, speaking about things that many don’t like to talk about. I want to make people think about their assumptions, because assumptions are a direct result of not being present and not engaging with what is in front of you. Of course, sometimes I just want to riff on video games, comics, and movies I love and analyze.’
Dipika Kohli's written and visual work, as well as curations, juxtapose people, place, and found imagery in 'minitheaters' as well as digital 'zines' like S P A C E. She engages with media at hand, wherever she is, to build something out of what's available in that moment, with that feeling. A bricolage artist at heart, she thus invites the new to enter any frame: when mixed, there is invitation for those who are participant to connect, reconnect, and revisit their idea of such fixed thinking as 'this is where this is taking us' and 'here is what we know.' Do we know anything, for sure? Ask the quantum physicists. Ask N. Bohr: 'How wonderful that we have met with a paradox; now we have some hope of making progress.'
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