A Note from the Editors
“Language is, in other words, not necessary, but voluntary. If it were necessary, it would have stayed simple; it would not agitate our hearts with ever-present loveliness and ever-cresting ambiguity; it would not dream, on its long white bones, of turning into song.”
Mary Oliver, excerpt of “Three Songs”, in West Wind
Days have felt like months, months have felt like hours that have stood still, and time has been stretched unlike ever before. All year, we’ve moved from one arcane sunrise to the next, uncertain of what the day holds in store. At a time when words like quarantine and isolation have become daily parlance, we have understood, as a collective race, the importance of community, companionship, and connections. The strings that hold us together to those we love and thread the hours of the day together have become plainly visible, exposed, almost — over solitary coffee cups in the sink, missed video call messages and anxious scrolling of breaking news.
This, in part, is how The Open Culture Collective was born. A mutual adoration for words and art brought this experiment to life — aiming to amalgamate individual culture with various art forms while staying true to the promise of inclusivity and intersectionality. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to curate this treasury of magnetic images and words. What began as speculation and supposition over a group chat has evolved into a near full-time project into which a lot of heart has been put. From worrying about not having enough submissions to being surprised by the kindness of strangers on the internet willing to promote and support your little digital journal from a corner of the world (for no reason other than sheer goodwill), the last few months have been uplifting. It has been reassuring beyond belief to say that, though we lived in the middle of a global pandemic, witnessed some of the worst injustices of our time carried out over fractured instants, and have been communally tested unlike ever before, there is benevolence in this human race, even in the bleakest of moments.
In addition to this, creators from all over the world have used their enchanting talents to soothe those of us who are especially in need of cheer. Words, watercolours, the wisdom of wisterias in full bloom — the smallest things have brought us such gentle and lulling serenity to otherwise punishing days.
Anais Nin said, “We write to taste life twice”. Believing this to be true of all art forms, we hope that you can taste life twice long after you have put The Isolation Edition down.
We hope you’re all staying safe and looking after yourselves.
Lots of Love,
Meghna Anil Nair