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Jalada 09: Nostalgia Call-Out

Jalada 09: Nostalgia Call-Out

Figure #90 from the series
“Quickly but carefully cross to the other side.”
Photo collage 63.5×64.5cm 2020
Artist: Ibrahim A. Ahmed

We are seated in the disintegrating scaffolding of the world we once knew.

Fragile in the face of an invisible terror plucked from the pages of science fiction.

It all feels like a bad dream. The worst movie. All assurances gone but united by hope as much as by fear.

Things will get better.
We will get through this.

But there are greater complexities within that desire to return to normalcy or what was accepted as such at home, in the work place, in our lives, our art, or agreed upon by the greater society.

This is an opportunity to explore the fundamental ways in which we’d changed way before the global health crisis forced us to. A chance to reckon with the effects of gradual cultural, social and political change.  

Read this anthology call-out in Kiswahili, Portuguese or French.

What has the expansion and extinction of languages, plants and wildlife; destruction of the  sky and sea, land and peoples pushed us further away from or drawn us closer to? What  have we reclaimed and (re)invented? What is the result of the commodification of  everything and the homogenization of everyone?    

But, change isn’t all bad. Humanity is better for macro shifts such us the end of slave trade  and colonization; the successful push for civil rights and women’s liberation; advances in  medicine, science and technology; ideological shifts within the realm of literature and the  arts. What was worth leaving behind as recently as yesterday or the past millenniums?  What do we remember or know of the old worlds?    

Nostalgia is also ​Saudade, ​the love that remains or never happened.    

Saudade​ (English: /ˌsaʊˈdɑːdə/, European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ], Brazilian Portuguese:  [sawˈdadi] or [sawˈdadʒi], Galician: [sawˈðaðɪ]; plural ​saudades​) is a deep emotional state of  profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one cares for and/or loves. 

How does one process things than never were? The imagined, not necessarily real or  accurate pasts; (re)constructed memory? Have we reconciled with the various trajectories of promise rooted in the past and the peoples and nations we were supposed to be by now?    

This is an exploration of memory; tradition and modernity, the tactile and the intangible, legacy and erasure, stagnation and evolution, the possible and impossible. 

1. Nostalgia online 
We welcome responses to the question of ​Nostalgia​ online as short poems, flash fiction and  musings presented as (or alongside) original GIFs, memes, photos and videos.    

Tag our handle ​Jalada Africa​ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use #JaladaNostalgia to make sure we see it.   

Submission window opens ​June 1​st, 2020

2. Nostalgia anthology 
We seek to create an anthology of short fiction, poetry, essays, visual art, films and  interviews (audio, visual or written) on the subject of ​Nostalgia​.   

Submissions will be received between ​June 1​st​, 2020 ​and ​July 31​st​, 2020​.


Each writer may submit up to a maximum of three works of short fiction or excerpts not exceeding 6,000 words. Pieces should be formatted as follows: 1.5 spacing, 12pt Font Times New Roman.

Please send no more than three poems that do not exceed 10 pages. All poems by a  single author have to be sent in one attachment, with each poem clearly marked.  Pieces should be formatted as follows: 1.5 spacing, 12pt Font Times New Roman.

We invite scholarly and critical essays on the subject of Nostalgia. Essays must not  extend beyond 5,000 words. Pieces should be formatted as follows: 1.5 spacing, 12pt  Font Times New Roman.

We welcome in-depth Q&A​ ​interviews/conversations of a journalistic, artistic or  literary nature in response to the question of ​Nostalgia​. A transcript should accompany the audio-visual file.
Visual art  
Artists should submit their work as JPEGS (Resolution: 72-150dpi, min size: 1024×768,  colour space: RGB). Each piece of art should include the following information: title  of piece, year created (and if the artist feels it necessary, a short contextualising/  descriptive text).   

This category will also include all submissions that present language in a visual  manner, from typographic poems and posters to all other forms of text and display  typography. 


  1. All submissions must be sent to
  2. Each story has to be sent as a separate Microsoft Word attachment, in the .doc format  (strictly no PDFs). Clear label the story title and the names of the writer and/or translator.
  3. Each submission must contain the title of your piece and word count.
  4. Where applicable, the submission must contain both the original piece and the  translation.
  5. All submissions must be accompanied by a biographical note, written in third person, and no more than 100 words in length.   
  6. All submissions must be previously unpublished, except for the case of translations where the source text may have appeared elsewhere.   

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