ISSUE#16: BODIES IN (AND OUT OF) PLACE
The ecological crisis … is a crisis in perception; we are not truly seeing, hearing, tasting, or consequently feeling where we are.
—Laura Sewall, Sight and Sensibility: The Ecopsychology of Perception
The community, the ayllu, is not only a territory where a group of people live; it is more than that. It is a dynamic space where the whole community of beings that exist in the world lives; this includes humans, plants, animals, the mountains, the rivers, the rain, etc. … It is important to remember that this place [the community] is not where we are from, it is who we are. I am not from Huantura, I am Huantura.
—Justo Oxa Díaz, in Bradshaw, G. A.. Carnivore Minds: Who These Fearsome Animals Really Are
Dark threads weave the world, weave all the spaces in between, the spores, the vibratory mushrooms registering in the language of soil…You are also earth and webbing. You are embedded within a sea of eyes.
— Shante’ Sojourn Zenith, “Entanglement” from Long Body Prayers: An Animist Oracle
In Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking can Save the World, Australian aboriginal writer Tyson Yunkaporta says that in his home language, there is no word for culture. The phrase that comes closest, aak ngamparam yimanang wunan, translates as “being like our place.” He goes on to say that “Being in profound relation to place changes everything about you—your voice, your smell, your walk, your morality.”
Even as the conditions for human life on earth destabilize, even as ecosystems collapse, and bodies both human and nonhuman are uprooted from their homelands, even as technologies enable and encourage unprecedented forms of disconnection, human bodies are rediscovering old ways—and finding new and remarkable ways—to come into relation with place. In the last decade especially, we’ve gained an enormous amount of scientific knowledge about trees, about the mycelial realm, about the waters, about our atmosphere and cosmos. And in many cases, it’s been accompanied by a willingness to listen in ways that, except for indigenous peoples, we have not done before.
Issue #16 (Deadline: March 17, 2023) will center on the question of human bodies in (and out of) place. What brings us into profound relation to place—and what pulls us out? In a social world that feels less and less place-dependent, and a physical world that is being reconfigured by climate change and habitat loss, how do we sustain our connection to physical place? How does being in profound relation to place change everything between, around and about us?
Part of the issue will be devoted to what writer Deena Metzger has named the Literature of Restoration: “…a body of literature that radically seeks the restoration and vitality of the natural world …through form and language, content and focus…The Literature of Restoration bears witness, disconnects from the deadly forms of the Anthropocene and seeks vision for these times.” Dark Matter is already home to such literature, and we hope to grow awareness of and participation in this emerging tradition.
Dark Matter: Women Witnessing publishes writing and visual art created in response to an age of massive species loss and ecological collapse. It is a home for dreams, visions, and communications with the nonhuman world, especially those with messages for how we might begin to heal our broken relationship to the earth. We welcome writing in all forms and genres as well as artwork in all mediums. All poetry and fiction must be accompanied by notes bridging to the journal’s mission. Context and commentary are required for dreams, visions, and other communications. We welcome submissions by women and nonbinary writers and artists.
Dreams and Visions features dreams, visions, nightmares or communications with nonhuman beings that respond in some way to this era of escalating danger and darkness—and ideally provide clarity and/or guidance. Commentary is required.
In After•Words, writers offer responses to books, films, artwork, cultural events—not necessarily current ones—that they feel make an important contribution to our mission. Responses can be creative—the work may serve as a springboard for the writer’s own reflections—and they can be as brief or as long as they need to be, within our 5,000-word limit.
- Submissions in French and German welcome; we will provide translation.
- 5,000 word limit
- Send as MS Word doc or, for graphics, send a Jpg file (up to 250ppi)
- Send your copy to: Editor@DarkMatterWomenWitnessing.com
* Written materials should be sent as one document. *
If after looking through the current issue, and reading the above submission guidelines, you still have questions about what we publish or how to submit, please click here.