Abolition is seeking submissions by artists for our inaugural issue.
Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics is a new radical journal which highlights work that encourages us to make the impossible possible, to push beyond policy changes and toward revolutionary abolitionism. Today we seek to abolish a number of seemingly immortal institutions, drawing inspiration from those who have sought the abolition of all systems of domination, exploitation, and oppression. ‘Abolition’ refers partly to the historical and contemporary movements that have identified themselves as ‘abolitionist,’ but it also refers to all revolutionary movements, insofar as they have abolitionist elements — whether the abolition of patriarchy, capitalism, heteronormativity, ableism, colonialism, the state, or white supremacy. Rather than just seeking to abolish a list of oppressive institutions, we aim to support studies of the entanglement of different systems of oppression and to create space for experimentation with the tensions between different movements. Instead of assuming one homogenous subject as our audience (e.g., “abolitionists of the world unite!”), we publish for multiple, contingent, ambivalent subjectivities — for people coming from different places, living and struggling in different circumstances, and in the process of figuring out who we want to be as we transform the world. With Fanon, we are “endlessly creating” ourselves.
In this struggle, we see the voices of artists, and unique insights possible through the arts, as fundamental in both speaking back to existing systems of oppression and imagining different futures. Against the dominance of ‘academic’ rhetoric, Abolition affirms a multiplicity of ways of knowing the world. We aim to include art in the journal, not as simply illustration or supplement, but as a theory/practice of engaging with the world itself. This is a specific acknowledgement that academia (and also the written word, with whatever cultural understandings the primacy of literacy implies) doesn’t have a monopoly on knowledge or on working towards different futures. Art adds to conversations about abolition in crucial ways. Recognizing that the best movement-relevant work is happening both in the movements themselves and in the communities with whom they organize, the journal aims to support and feature artists whose work amplifies such grassroots activity. We invite submissions by artists working and creating outside the ‘white cube’ circuit whose individual practice, themes or interventions engage with the goals of Abolition in a meaningful way. We understand ‘art’ broadly to include many different forms and media: painting, video, drawing, poetry, multi-media, documentary, among others.
Please submit a short (200-300 word) artist statement, visual images in pdf format, online portfolio or website, or other documentation that you feel best represents your work and practice to [email protected] by January 29th, 2016.