There are so many factors that influence our personal relationships with place and identity.
It’s barely ever enough for most people to say “I am (insert singular national identity)” or “I’m from (insert place of origin)” and neatly sum up their story of origin, without batting an eyelid.
More often and not, these answers are fraught with contradiction, complexity, personal and political history, and many times, a hugely revealing part of ourselves - which we sometimes just don’t want to get into with a complete stranger.
What we aimed at with this issue is to fully explore these types of answers, to get a sense of the diversity, and perhaps commonality, of these experiences, and as always, try and bring them together, combining the work of artist and writers, into one cohesive whole.
I would have to explain that this is what moving feels like: suddenly the smallest things, numbers, become imbued with new significance. You count the days since you arrived, thinking “19 days ago I was sleeping in another city, in another country.” Thinking, “85 days ago I didn’t know I would be moving.” The first few days or weeks, especially at night, your mind keeps going a hundred miles an hour about all the things that make this place not home. You want to skip all the days until the time when everything will feel natural ‒ unlocking the front door, finding your way through the aisles at the grocery store. You cannot wait until a month or two or three later when these streets have been walked, these names have been spoken and the way to work or school is muscle memory. Until that happens you just have to trick your mind into thinking this is home.
- ‘But where are you really from?', by Laetitia Lesieure Desbriere-Batista
MEET THE CONTRIBUTORS
Illustrator based in Cornwall – Her work is heavily inspired by the bizarre and the surreal, the intersection between consciousness and unconsciousness. Her illustrations are often auto-biographical and represent and extension of her psyche. She enjoys incorporating mythology, folklore, magic and the mundane into her creative process. Her other hobby is reading, which unintentionally fuels her work.
Ana was born in Bucharest, Romania. In 2015 she moved to the UK where she completed a BA in English and Film at Southampton Solent University. Currently she uses her social media platform to talk about books as well as her experiences as an Eastern European immigrant in a post-Brexit UK.
With a belief that there lie important and revolutionary stories from those that go unheard from, Arani Holder uses her work to open windows into the lives of different people and the broader socio-political movements that help shape them.
Her work explores the connections between languages, culture, pluralism, autonomy and the power of knowing one's roots. Through media such as bookmarking, bookbinding, printmaking, painting, sculpture and even cooking, she straddles the line between abstract, conceptual and still digestible.
Arani understands the importance of a society that is pluralism and collectivist.
Cassio is Colombian analog collage artist and sociologist. His work focuses on subjects such as time, environment, social relationships and literature.
Judy is based in Toronto, Canada. She works in the financial industry
and is also a writer and owner of a small letter-writing business. She
studied Finance and Literature in Montreal. The stories that inspire her most are ones that muddy the boundary between the outlandish and mundane to reveal something universal about the human experience. A lover of magical realism and speculative fiction, her favourite authors include Sayaka Murata and Haruki Murakami.
Tara is an Irish artist, based in Dublin. Currently pursuing a degree in Illustration at the National College of Art and Design, she considers Illustration to be her primary focus but also has a great interest in Printmaking. Inspired by the nuances of everyday life, Tara’s natural habitat is sitting in a cafe with an oat milk latte, scribbling away in her sketchbook.
Writer & Artist
Eve Radville is a communications professional, writer and artist based in Bristol. Previously published in the Huffington Post and the Guardian, she is interested in politics and amplifying the voices of the marginalised and vulnerable in society in her press and fact-based work. In her artwork and creative prose, however, she enjoys playing with the fine line between a dark sense of humour and the darkness within.
PASCUAL + VINCENT
Pascual + Vincent are two Spanish photographers collaborating as a duo since 2013.
The human condition is their field of personal and artistic action, and their work proposes a polyhedral and transversal vision in the way of seeing and understanding that relationship between the human being and the space that surrounds it.
The Saxons of Transylvania is the second part of a trilogy that began in 2014 in Romania with a first project: The Tree of Life is Eternally Green. Both works have been published by the English publisher Overlapse, and have received numerous national and international awards.
As an immigrant, Ana is interested in storytelling through pictorial representations of the human experience, with a main focus on how we interact and react to others as well as ourselves whilst navigating growth.
She often works to convey emotions and individuality through colourful and textured digital illustrations. Her illustration style is playful and adaptable to different scenarios such as publishing and commercial industries.
Born in a provincial town in Russia in 1999, currently studying in Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow and trying to make it as a writer.
Benjamin Husbands is a poet from North Yorkshire. He cites his
upbringing in the Yorkshire countryside as the main inspiration behind his work.
When he is not writing, he can be found listening to dreary music or walking his dog while listening to dreary music. Other examples of his work can be found in The York Journal, Horizon Magazine, and Wildfire Words.
John Ayobamidele is a contemporary artist (b.1992) in Lagos. He studied Art under the influence of a master Olayinka Oyebola and later furthered his study in the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, School of Art, where he majored in painting. John's visual experience is mostly subjected to analyse the colour and tone of a given subject and extract a possible play of light in relation with human perception to life, society and appreciate the aesthetic value of cultural belief.
Mary Paulson’s writing has appeared in multiple publications, most recently in DASH Literary Journal, The Pomegranate London, Amethyst Review, Sparks of Calliope and in Vita Brevis’ upcoming anthology on love and loss. Her chapbook, Paint the Window Open was published by Kelsay Books in 2021. She currently resides in Naples, FL and can be found on Facebook: mary.paulson.35
Sodïq Oyèkànmí is a genre-bending writer of Yorùbá descent. He is a florist, librarian & thespian. A Best of the Net nominee, his works have been published/ forthcoming in Poetry Wales, The Muse Journal, trampset, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Olney Magazine, Brittle Paper, Agbowó, and elsewhere. He tweets @sodiqoyekan
Anna Nixon is an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Manchester University. She is interested in expressing both outward and inward journeys through her writing, which you can find more of at @annanixonwritings