The Recollection 01

Page 1

May 2017

am I chasing being loved or just being wanted?

the issue


am I chasing being loved or just being wanted?




Opening Words: An Open Seat


The Conversation 16-19

Chisel & Paste by Maia Boakye 20-21

A Thought 22-23

Of Stray Identities by Omar Rais 24

Closing Words


Credits 06 by Dom

07 by Hannah and Jaryn Isaiah

08 words by Cassandra Bold (illustrated by Melody Hansen)

09 by Megan Portorreal and Tiffany Hernandez

10 by Kairo Maynard

11 by Alanna Schwartz, Morgan, and Nadya Naulita

12 words by Morgan (illustrated by Melody Hansen)

13 words by Jonny (written by Melody Hansen) and Kairo Maynard

14 by Kadeem Dunn

15 words by Cassandra Bold (written by Melody Hansen)

Project Coordination by Emily Choly Art Directed & Designed by Melody Hansen

The Recollection is a piece of the Because, Honestly series created by Melody Hansen. This publication is created and edited by Melody Hansen and Emily Choly.


Because, Honestly: The Recollection is a publication created to provoke thought and invite honest conversations through a question posed by each issue. It aims to challenge expectations, especially the assumptions that all is black and white. Because all is not black and white.

And so we long to share. We long to converse. There is an open seat at the table for you.





The Conversation




A memory: I chased for so long I finally found myself.

We met, we liked, we loved. He left, I begged, I cried. We loved. He returned, we embraced, I cried. We loved. He cheated, he loved, but didn’t want me? I cried because I loved. I loved so hard. He returned. He left. He returned. He left. I loved. I wanted. I loved. I waited. He apologised. He met someone knew. She loved him. I loved him. He wanted her. I moved on. He wanted me. He loved me. He returned. We rejoiced. We loved? He loved but he didn’t want me. I loved but I didn’t want him. I left. Kairo





T here


is an elephant in the room, With the tusks the colour of your fear. It has an odour you faintly remember-Sweat that sparkles with blood. How peculiar it is, I "think" to myself, To exist without a center. It seems we hate what makes us live, Take strolls outside of time. What can they say about us? I wonder... The truth is painted on the stars Until there's no more space to float-How will we tell ourselves apart? But the elephant is In our thoughts and We see it in each other, and It huffs and grumbles, too! And

here still-in our bones. when we're all alone. still, we do not hear it.

So, what's the point of this you're asking? What am I really getting at? Talk about the fucking elephant, you idiot! That's pretty much all I've got. Kadeem Dunn



Chisel & Paste BY MAIA BOAKYE

It’s 3:30 am and the airport is dead. I ate a double chocolate-chip muffin from

Tim’s to trick my mind into thinking it was time to be awake. It didn’t work. By 3:45, I watched 2 minutes of Tech News on a local channel before my mind wandered towards that part you tuck away. The part where girls you used to know lie on their backs, sly smiles on their faces taunting the idea that you won’t find anyone else. In the fall, I tap danced on the tip of their tongues, flirting with the idea of falling. When winter came, my mother would call, asking where I’d been for the past few seasons; I had started questioning why ice tastes like candy and built a frozen church around me. I woke up one day and the flesh of the Earth was painted white. So, I left on the equinox, and the farther away I got from you the warmer the snow felt on my bare feet. I can imagine that butterflies form cages with their wings and pretty birds sing softer than crows—but sometimes, I’m happier by myself. 

Maia Boakye

Maia Boakye is a visual artist, poet and student based in Canada. Her personal work reflects the unusual and symbiotic relationships she has with herself, others and her environment. Her piece, Chisel & Paste, juxtaposes the elements with emotion through a journey of a young girl who seeks the warmth in herself that was lost after a long-term relationship ended abruptly. / IG @maiaboakye /


a thought

We fight to belong, but maybe we donĘźt belong here


and maybe thatĘźs the point. 21


Of Stray Identities

Omar Rais is an international development professional and photography enthusiast. He has been fortunate to travel for work as well as for his education, and is building towards a regional specialization in South Asia, a part of the world which is dear to him. This piece is a reflection on his approach to travelling and explores a major theme of diaspora politcs: belonging. IG @omarkrais

I have repeatedly been asked to start a travel blog by

family and friends. I love that they have more faith in my writing than I do. However, travelling is my unearned privilege. It is a result of a passport which I played little to no part in the decision-making of been able to possess it. So why should I write about my travels? For a while I was unable to reconcile these two things and I continued to tread the line where, on the one hand, I was no better than an Orientalist obsessed with “finding sights” and “experiencing” a place and its people. As if the places I was travelling to existed in a vacuum of history and I was among the first to discover them. As if the stories of the people that I was meeting had never been told before. On the other hand, I began to see myself as someone who was trying to dig into the nuances of the places I was seeing and the people I was meeting. Perhaps like an anthropologist. I hoped that by doing so, I would discover something new about myself. Here’s why: You see, I am a Canadian of Pakistani origins but born and raised in Saudi Arabia who then immigrated to Canada while his ancestors belong to India. Those are enough identities to make anyone confused about “where they belong.”

In 2015, while in India, I travelled to my maternal ancestral village called, Incholi. It is the namesake of a neighbourhood in Karachi which was created by migrants from this village after the Partition of 1947. It was the first time since 1985 that somebody from my family had visited the village. I have never felt more immediately at home anywhere else in the world. I was able to see the streets, the shops, the mosque, and even the exact room where my grandfather was raised. The people there wanted me, wanted to know about me, wanted to learn what happened to my grandfather, my mother, my uncle. I’m still not sure whether I still fully understand the magnitude of that trip. But I know that I felt as if I belong.

Being wanted and feeling like you belong can sometimes converge and at that moment, you can learn something about yourself. That’s why I travel. To create the conditions of that convergence. Where both the Orientalist and the anthropologist in me can reconcile their differences and embark on a journey together to teach me something about myself in a place I've never been and among people I've never met. Travel journals and blogs aren’t a new fad. Persians called it a safarnama, a travelogue. Nasir Khusrow, a Persian philosopher and author penned the first Safarnama in which he wrote: Kindle the candle of intellect in your heart And hasten with it to the world of brightness. If you want to light a candle in your heart, Make knowledge and action its wick and oil. I doubt that I’d ever be able to match that and so my safarnama is of photos. This picture shows the original doorway and wall to my maternal great grandfather's grocery shop. His name was Inam ul Haq Siddiqui. He served as the village police constable and his brother Siraj ul Haq Siddiqui was the Sarpanch (village leader). It shows that while I had no part in the decisionmaking which gave me a privilege I didn’t earn, what I do with that privilege is entirely up to me. And so, I try to create convergence.  Omar Rais


In the wanting, there is choosing. We long to be wanted, because we long to be chosen. When the wanting is temporary, the hurt is d e e p because to be chosen is in the core of why we are. In love, there is choosing. We long to be loved, because we long to be chosen. When the love is temporary, we are chosen over the feeling, over the wanting.


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