a note from the editor
This might come as a surprise, as it’s not the typical editor’s note you would expect to read from us.
2018 was an incredible year for armarolla. An experimental project we had been working on for a long time finally came to fruition. Launching an independent print magazine from the ground up, with no public funding or any kind of help from external stakeholders – except our author’s contributions, for which we’re indebted and grateful – has been quite a struggle, though certainly a rewarding one.
You may have noticed that our winter issue is arriving a little late in the season. This is because we made a decision to change our publishing schedule in order to balance our workloads and facilitate our own personal needs. Therefore we agreed to have our first issue of the year published in winter instead of spring. This particular issue hasn’t been an easy one to put together; we’ve exchanged endless emails and instant messages, we’ve debated, we’ve cried, we’ve laughed, we’ve stressed, we’ve experienced family emergencies and project crises. We appreciate the patience of our readers and contributors, and hope the result justifies the wait. For this issue, we originally intended to focus on work by Middle Eastern authors and artists, or creators whose work focuses on this region in particular, but as submissions rolled in, we expended to include pieces that explored different cultural perspectives, views and narratives. I could go on commenting specifically about the chosen works and how they interconnect, however, I am an avid supporter of the absence of commentary used as a tool against guided thinking; I prefer to allow work to speak for itself. During my artistic process I have realized that when the artist responds to the questions why did you choose to do this? and what does this mean? with the question of what does it mean to you?, the possibilities are endless. Work can always have multiple meanings to the observer or reader – often meanings that were never considered or intended by the author – or none — the purpose is not the outcome, but the internal process of critical thinking.
Including pieces that explored different cultural perspectives, views and and narratives seemed an appropriate focus as we completed our first year in print. armarolla is, after all, based on a small island in the Mediterranean – traditionally a crossroads for cultural and financial exchange between the East and the West. And it was always intended to be a forum for diverse, international voices as much as an expression of our values: multiculturalism, plurality, social justice, and a celebration of ‘the other’.
We’re experimental, not only in the terms of what we like to publish, but also in the way we work. Each issue in our first year has been all about pushing forward, challenging our points of view and finding our narrative.
All of which is, of course, what literature’s all about.
table of contents
We Are Everywhere!
An Interview with Kyriakos Hadjielia
Instructions for Opening The Heart
I Wish I Had a Different Story to Tell
Friends in Blood
Burial in Gaza
Ode to the Crescent Moon, 2012
The Day After the Ankara Bombings
Sights Along the Marmara
An Asemic Writing Portfolio
—JACK WILLIAMS (Introduced by Stelios Hadjithomas)
—JON KEMSLEY CLARK
Between the Sea and My Television
Untitled II, 2012
I Am the Payment
By Seed and Flux
The Scavenger Thing
—THULANI ELVIS BUTHELEZI
Murder Mile Haibun
—MAXINE ROSE MUNRO
Postcards (bonus in the print edition)
—MERCEDES WEBB-PULLMAN (Excerpt from I Wish I Had a Different Story to Tell designed by Stelios Hadjithomas)
—JULIE WEBB-PULLMAN (Image: Dinner with my Grandparents, 2016 designed by Stelios Hadjithomas)