For years we have entertained the idea of our passions as arts, endeavors that train our perspective on the human experience and evolve into a philosophical discussion of purpose and ardor for life. That space for thoughtful creation is healthy, it is necessary, it is imperative and it is lacking. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to exist in these sacred spaces reserved for the artistic and exploratory notions that life is magnificent, beautiful, and fraught with tragedy and conflict. God forbid we recognize the conflict.
This is what drives our human experience. The presence of conflict in culture, politics, art, faith, knowledge, wisdom and perspective, organizes our thought processes and frames our personal belief systems. We need a space for these evaluations and discoveries, and we have one.
The staff of the literary arts magazine sat around a table in the English lobby approximately two weeks ago attempting to recreate our campus’ journal. We had each contributed to a list of plausible titles, themes, hashtags and buzz words with the intent to revive our beloved work. Last semester, the previous magazine staff witnessed the slack in submissions and interest. This semester, our goal is to revive the literary and artistic scene, not as some slick black-clad troupe with messy buns and faux cigarettes, but as the people behind a movement for a culturally conscientious community on our campus.
There are pockets of action here. They meander in silk stockings stifling their steps fearful that they may not be well-received in this place. Fear is taxing and its effects are felt throughout the body. If we cannot recognize this in our small AU bubble, then however will we function beyond this space? How will we challenge those norms that squelch our fires and consume our brief moments of intense desire? It is a quiet cry of need, this silent plug for contributions and hope.
Writers to action! Artists to action! Musicians to action! We can employ all the exclamation points in the world, but if we do not come together as a creative community, how are we any better off? Kurt Vonnegut said, “Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.’” We must make community a candid space for individuals to come together especially when they disagree.
“Slates” is rendered a place to care, produce and create. It is our place for discourse, storytelling, art-sharing, music-playing and speaking with the intensity that reaches into true human interaction. Here we offer you the opportunity to write and to create.
The challenge within this edition revolves around the notion of being caught in transit. This may be a physical space or mental one. From bus stop conundrums and cultural dissonances, to the recognition of an incomplete, growing self, this edition is meant to address the personal journey and its lessons. Feel free to take up your slates.
Kate is a senior writing and music business major from Greenfield, Indiana.