This is an exceptional issue indeed, an exquisite bouquet of poems, articles, stories, art, and photography, all from the heart of the moment. The theme, Escapism, is highly reflective of many artists’ and writers’ states of mind. As sci-fi author Justina Robson, whom we had the honor of interviewing for this issue, said about the writing process: “It’s what happens in the mixing bucket that’s interesting – hopefully you find some new colour, some strange beauty; it evolves as you nurture it; perhaps you see it buried in there and have to dig it out.” Writing, painting, and any other forms of composing are gateways to other worlds, paths of escape and discovery.
And did Indelible, the platform with its contents and events, serve as a form of escapism? Maybe. Engrossing ourselves in literature and art can certainly feel like tapping into a new territory–one that is not only an evasion from the pandemicized world as we know it, but also a boundary breaker of physical and social distancing.
This Indelible issue (pun intended) features a wide range of works exploring escapism from a plethora of angles: ekphrastic journey and time traveling; a newfound appreciation of nature, the new normal, and nostalgia for social gatherings; linguistic vehicles taking poets to Paris and beyond; artistic depictions of time, patience, nature, safety, covid-like spikey dream critters, food, fortune-telling, and Dolly Parton; abstract portrayals of escapist “elements” through flashes of color; camera lenses capturing moments of uncanny silence through rolls of film, upturned chairs, and bonfires, followed by surreal escapes into a cedar forests; digital art depicting the purgatorial state of a post-explosion Beirut; perception of escapism through eye-talk; a contemplation of dance as a medium of emotional travel; hypnotic inspiration by the moon; meditation on the therapy of ‘mixing metaphors’; fluid verses streams, rivers, oceans—and imagios; a weaving of mythopoesis into nature; an angular cis-man with a one-seater spaceship; observations of an artist’s wanderlust, and some ancestral time travel.
Contributors include people from all backgrounds and walks of life: artists, journalists, medical doctors, psychotherapists, poets, novelists, photographers, dancers, scholars, and students. In this diversity lies the unifying and healing power of the arts. Now is the time for the making and the consuming of literature and art, because, let’s face it–we need it: for solace, for understanding, and for comfort. More people want it, and more people are able to receive it and engage in it now as well because of the escapist boundary-breaking that it offers. Indelible, like many other digital literary platforms, is a hosting environment where writers and artists can share and preserve their work.
Our love for words and aesthetics is important, but only secondary to the belief that enjoying them through a shared experience is what unites people—poets or otherwise. Digital literature is an amazing opportunity to cut our own slice of cyberspace and share this indulgence in the power of poetic musicality and forget about the so-called ‘real’ world for just a couple of light-hours.
I would like to thank all the terrific talents whose works have found their way into this fantastic issue of Indelible. Every contributor is a reminder that beauty still exists and is still worth creating. Through your works on escapism, you have revealed the many worlds within that we can still visit while we gently heal our Covid-stricken planet with art and humanity.
Roula-Maria Dib, editor-in-chief