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.
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 1st, 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 1st, 2020 and July 31st, 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.
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.
- All submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Each submission must contain the title of your piece and word count.
- Where applicable, the submission must contain both the original piece and the translation.
- All submissions must be accompanied by a biographical note, written in third person, and no more than 100 words in length.
- All submissions must be previously unpublished, except for the case of translations where the source text may have appeared elsewhere.
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A pan-African writers' collective and publisher