"We need to stop and appreciate the things which make up our routines. That's where we'll find happiness. There is grandeur in the present, there is gloriousness in a vegetable peeling, and there is dignity in simply living."
Notes on Nostalgia by Jack Bissett
The word nostalgia has gone through quite a turbulent time, of late. It's thrown around a lot – a term of endearment towards things passed, whether genuine memory or flittering emotive responses to fine-tuned consumerism. When it comes to facing up to our relationships with the past, it’s easy to pass off our rose-tinted goggles for being shallow – a half-empty picture that conceals the grit and baggage that makes truth. We chose this title at the start of 2020, with hopes to challenge this conception of nostalgia. By the time our submissions closed, the term nostalgia itself was thrown into turmoil, as bleak and uncertain futures began to block the path and left us all running towards the past. In coming towards our editing process in April 2020, our attitudes were fresh. Whilst we were all reliant on the escape nostalgia brought from the dullness of isolation, or the sharp sting of suffering – it became a signifier of change, showing the dreadful cracks of a system and the losses of a society so drifted from a ‘common goal’. At once, we were vividly aware of the importance of learning from past mistakes, and the negligence in not accounting for our futures. The term itself had soured.
It is with this new outlook we are proud to present the first works in our Nostalgia series for 2020 – a move to our shiny new website while the print issues are out of reach. We’ve had some great work so far and are thrilled to show you the incredible creative talent of our community in this way. From pictures that, with serenity, transport us to other times, to accounts that challenge the very premise of that same serenity to begin with, the works in this collection are a needed cause for reflection. Hopefully, this work will provide you with an escape from the uncertain times we find ourselves in - or instead a cause for reflection on the now, through reflections on the past.
I hope you’re all keeping as safe, well and secure as possible in these difficult times.
Rhydian Rolant Cleaver
Mateusz Gerszberg, Danya Bhasin, Hind Dihan, Eira Engedal, Baneet Sarai, Emma Zemlickova, Emma de Carvalho, Alanah Sarginson, Salomé Melchior, Jo Euteneier, Cecilia V. Weng Song, Georgina Castagneto, Regina Celine Legarte, Prakash Pandya, Jack Bissett