By Rossina Zamora Liu, Editor & Jeremy Swanston, Webmaster/Media Editor
Word Thug is a new, all-volunteer critical and literary multimedia magazine with an emancipatory call for creative expression by community artists, writers and educators. We are writers and artists, rappers and breakers, filmmakers and photographers, teachers and students.
We believe that if the language arts emboldens the power to disrupt social apathy, inspire social change and organize communities toward the world “as it could and should be,” then we ought to expand the boundaries of language access, power and privilege; we ought to reframe what we assume about writing and writers, reading and readers and what kinds of language we privilege, and whose.
Ours is a space where contributors share counter-narratives through mixed media and illuminate what it means to create “literary” works as well as what it means to be a “writer.”
We are home to three critical spaces:
- Creative Voices is a space for the literary arts. Writers, artists and educators of the everyday perform stories in various forms: print, short film, audio/oral history, photographs and mixed media.
- Learning Voices is a space for social, cultural and political essays about craft, process, language and the practice and teaching of them.
- Disorderly Voices is an ongoing conversation about current issues related to language, culture, politics, privilege, power and everything in between.
We are currently inviting submissions for our fall 2017 pilot that critique the cultural, social, political and historical exercises of power and privilege, and the preservation of that power and privilege. For Creative Voices, we like stories by the everyday artist, writer and educator that assert counter-cultural identities and vernaculars—literary counter-narratives exploring self in dominant and/or racialized spaces.
For Learning Voices, we like critical essays examining craft, process and the practice and teaching of them—thoughtful reflections on language and power and the rights to own one’s language. And for Disorderly Voices, we like blogs commenting on current issues of culture, politics and everything in between—whose narrative constructions do we privilege and why?
We like all forms — video, audio, oral history, photographic, mixed media — and we also like the regular, written kind. We like all genres — nonfiction, fiction, poetry, spoken word, hip hop — but please, no academic five-paragraphs. And we like all voices — dramatic, humorous, thoughtful, witty, smart — because let’s be real, no one likes to peruse work by robots.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 223.