Dear Readers of Big Other,
As editor of Big Other but really simply as a human being, I stand in solidarity with the current uprising against the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. Moreover, I support the people foregrounding and fighting against the underlying causes of the rebellion: austerity, poverty, unemployment, illness, racism, sexism, discrimination, ignorance, hatred, municipal neglect, inadequate housing, inadequate schools, inadequate health care, homelessness, the corporatization of just about everything, and more besides.
I hope that the police state murders of innocents George Floyd and Breonna Taylor will ignite the kinds of protests against state brutality of its citizenry we saw in Greece after the police’s murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos in 2008, which subsequently ignited mass direct action against the state’s widespread corruption and utterly vicious austerity measures that continued for several years. Things are looking promising in this direction. Happy about this, while remaining skeptical as ever.
And to all artists, literary and otherwise, I charge you with the following: Make art like you make love: with your entire being, with curiosity, freedom, gratitude, humor, discipline, intelligence, creativity, joy, and wonder. Art has revolutionary power. That is, art in its capacity as both object and movement can give voice and energy and inspiration to rebellion. So, dream, imagine, listen, write, dance, sing, paint, sculpt, practice, read, perform, joke, and live.
Finally, ask yourself what you can do to help and then do it. You can find a list of bail funds or anti-racist community organizations here. And this is an excellent reading list: Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness.
Fight the powers that be!
Editor, Big Other
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.