TABLE of CONTENTS Playlist: Liberating Disco.................................................................................................. 6 Creative Writing..................................................................................................................... 8 Poetry........................................................................................................................................... 16 "Boutique"..................................................................................................................................23 Liberating Disco...................................................................................................................36 by Darryle Aldridge Beyond the Black Square............................................................................................38 by Clara Guthrie How the Jordan 4s Came to Be.............................................................................40 by Malika Malik Spaces in Isolation............................................................................................................. 42 by Chloe Becker Student Artists.................................................................................................................... 46 "Transfixed"............................................................................................................................. 52
STAFF editors in chief: Christina Hara, André Hirschler features editors: Loree Seitz, Katherine Hansen poetry editor: Jo Clark creative writing editor: Myka Greene photographers: Léo Zhang, Enya Pfeiffer designers: Emily Bekker, Annabel Gleason, Macy Brandon, Alex Yun, Rachel Crawford social media manager: Enya Pfeiffer financial officer: Michael McClafferty administrative assistant: Maria Carolina4
Letter FROM T H E Editors As this uniquely non-eventful year comes to a close behind us and we both look forward to graduating, reflection is inevitable, of the past, the present but mostly the future. When thinking about all these possibilities, V Magazine is almost always at the forefront of our experience here at the University. In the past, it has been a source of comfort and hope that a community of independent creativity (above all style) not only exists, but thrives in an otherwise homogeneous space. Presently, it accounts for much of the stress of leaving in the demands of publication even as it has made this year beautiful for us in the work of our many collaborators and friends. But it is in the future of V Magazine, as not just a publication, but a community and network where creativity is not just welcomed but encouraged and empowered to the full extent of its expressive power that we find solace in. Even as we are sad to leave, sad to have been unable to spend time with and appreciate the colorful stylings of our members, sad to not have launched this latest issue in grand V Mag fashion...we are happy to know that it will always be here to provide a home to future students. We entrust this communal project and the newfound freedom of post-quarantine days to Myka Green and Emily Bekker as incoming Editors-in-Chief. Both are creative talents of many disciplines, style gurus and those rare people who keep conversations alive and precious, so that you leave thankful to have had the chance to talk to them. We could not be happier leaving V mag in the hands of anyone else and know that they will do great things for the magazine and greater community. As for the magazine. Against all odds and expectations, it has flourished despite all the limitations COVID has brought upon us this year. We only wish the magazine were bigger to accommodate all the interest we received. It will be, soon hopefully, as already we have expanded this issue and grown our magazine staff to help create more opportunities for our collaborators. Once the new academic year starts, hopefully with a return to normalcy, V magazine will once again be able to provide a community for its members beyond our content and photoshoots, providing a home for all of UVA’s creativity and fashion. Serving as your Editors-in-Chiefs has been an incredible, rewarding experience and we are truly humbled to have been able to provide a creative space where so many people can find joy. We’ve worked hard to expand our community, not only within the University, but to the greater Charlottesville area where we can support and collaborate with other local creatives. This issue is everything we could have dreamed of and more, and we hope that you see its magic within these beautiful pages as well. We are so proud of how everyone came together to make this issue come together, to have served as your co-Editors and been part of this wonderful community of creatives. André and Christina
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) - Sylvester I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor I Feel Love - Donna Summer Love To Love You Baby - Donna Summer I Was Born This Way - Carl Bean We Are Family - Sister Sledge Bad Girls - Donna Summer Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead Le Freak - CHIC The Boss - Diana Ross , James Simpson Ring My Bell - Anita Ward Got to Be Real - Cheryl Lynn Good Times - CHIC Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson I’m Coming Out - Diana Ross Love Hangover - Diana Ross I’m That Chick - Mariah Carey Mesmerized - Mariah Carey You Don’t Know What To Do - Mariah Carey , Wale Blow - Beyonce Here to Luv Myself - Samii Crazy - Kelly Rowland World on Wheels - Duckwrth , Kyle Dion Fkn Around - Pony Ppl , Megan Thee Stallion Experience - Victoria Monét , Khalid , SG Lewis Burn This Disco Out - Michael6 Jackson
THE PLAYLIST: LIBERATING DISCO with commentary by Darryle
To fully understand the magic that was disco music in the 1970s, listen to the Liberating Disco playlist. The curated collection of songs does its best to celebrate the Black and Queer roots of disco music both in the past and present. Some standout tracks are: “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross. Everyone knows this song. It has been sampled hundreds of times, and it is well known for its iconic trombone solo. However, on Liberating Diso, you can listen to the original disco version of the song. Following the anti-disco backlash of Disco Demolition Night, the track was reworked to be shorter in length and more uptempo to avoid harming Ross’s career. Of the modern-day tracks, “Experience” by Victoria Monet, SG Lewis, and Khalid best embodies the essence of disco music: embracing and celebrating one’s identity in the face of adversity. The artists released the track amid racial unrest in the United States following the murder of George Floyd. Khalid and Monet said, “It’s important to us to highlight and celebrate Black joy and love in the middle of so much pain and trauma.” Closing out the playlist is “Burn This Disco Out” by Michael Jackson. The track itself is infectious with its blaring horns. But more important are the lyrics: “So DJ, spin the sounds/There ain’t no way that you’re gonna let us down/Gonna dance, gonna burn this disco out.” There was an attempt to quite literally burn disco from the music scene with Disco Demolition Night. Yet, the genre still persists in various forms to this day. Here’s hoping that Liberating Disco may ignite (reignite) even the tiniest bit of interest in disco for new or former listeners.
Listen while you read: 7
More or Less by Lyla Ward
Along the BQE, an apartment building. In the building, a 12th floor. On the 12th floor, an apartment. In the apartment, a baby. In front of the baby, a window. Holding the baby, a woman. Her hair is long and thick, hair like cooking fish in the villa, bella donna. She holds the baby up to the window, looking out over the highway, over the miles of ocean-floor industrial park separating her chain of buildings from ones across. The highway through her
cuts through, seeping sound and brake lights into the woman’s window, yellow curtains, casting the baby red while she sleeps. The highway has no business with the woman or her block; the retaining wall is tall and grey. The business is elsewhere; the highway flows down, through, across a bridge to New Jersey, North Carolina. Across the industrial park, the highway isn’t even thought of. Only the train moves through those blocks. It rattles above ground, doing business with those blocks four or five times, then on to the next chunk of blocks, and on and on. Apartment windows along the track shake with the train, even when it’s crawling slowly enough for those on the train to see the faces of those inside their homes. Life inside those windows is more. Every woman in those windows is more woman. Every man more man. Every child more child. A man on the train going home to his woman and his dinner sees a woman through her window, in her golden kitchen, stirring a pot of orange soup, metal blinds slung lopsided above her, sweet cheek toddler sat up next to her, his fat legs steam stuck on the laminate counter. Her kitchen is realer, warmer, more full of delicious smells than any kitchen. More than his own. Arrived home, he meets his wife’s cheek with more appetite than yesterday, and leaves it, jaw tight with distress he doesn’t recognize. He tucks into their beige bed hoping sleep will drop him into the window woman’s bubbling pot.
The woman off the side of the BQE lives no afterlife like the woman with the soup. Only at rush hours does the traffic thicken and slow enough for her shape to be noticed in the window. Rarely is her body’s lumpy shadow dissected into woman and baby by those riding in the cars below. Her shape absorbs her baby’s, and back again they are one body, looking out, taking in the moving cars, the flat roofs of industrial buildings, the tiny lights in the distance.
th e r e mu s
if it quacks like a duck, it’s probably all in my head
been? a . ave . th
by Isabell Holway
I will wake up and ask, is this a good morning? There is a balance between keeping track and placing blame. Between the feelings of control and desperation. The mornings often are good, though, except when they’re not, in which case I will let myself roll over in the pillows long enough to petrify into something so heavily imprisoned that I can’t muster the strength to lift it all back up again. I will start to need the air, badly. And another weight, a much heavier one, will grow in my chest and throat. If I do get out in time, I am left defensive and astray, unsure if I will be able to stomach swallowing the amount of air I have lost. Luckily, I will find that this early on in the day, my body has yet to make contact with my mind, so it breaths anyway, all on its own. I will stand in front of the mirror again, like I do every morning. This clinical practice will cloud my routine, my curiosity, my meditative mind until I make sense of myself in only its terms: I will turn to the side and trace the rim of my body, starting with the forehead, following with the nose (rolling over those bumps gives me the hiccups). The lips. (I don’t have my mother’s mole, but the gap in her teeth I mimic commendably.) I will skip down to the chest, the outline of the top of the rib cage. I will see this part of the body and worry for when it will turn to scales. The nipples, one hard, one not so much. The cushion beneath them. The belly button sits on top of something swollen, stiff. In the mornings that something will be flatter though, and I will look healthy.
o is i s.
It’s hard to want what hurts, but I will, in too complicated a way. It’s an aching pleasure, a raw and swollen goodness—words, characteristics, I will think, that naturally describe pain. But by some inborn force, a pain that I will want. Tragic, no? I will go on to ask those who I have been with to tell me what it feels like in there. I will want to know if there are secrete tunnels like those ducks who have evolved to protect themselves from procreating with their rapists, the males who were rejected during mating season and now run rabid. I will want to know if the tissue is soft and malleable or rugged and challenging, if it massages their egos or if it manages to hurt them back somehow.
s she cry
s children tend to ou ... . an
c i t is ?
e ho w old w in
. at the
A spine that lurches forward, a frail and drooping branch, its
th leaves burdened by the weight of a recent rain. It can’t bow much
deeper. Maybe it will snap: “…anxious children tend to...does she cry when…Appendicitis…and in your family…Endometriosis…how old were you when…Vasovagal…so have you always…Vulvo-…when you were born there must have been a…Vestibulo-…pain at the…we can try…which pharmacy…insurance…eighteen years…nineteen…” At my twenty-one years it will dawn on me that the pain has taken a good long hike like I told it to, and so I will call my doctor who will tell me, “well it’s true that these things aren’t very linear, and it’s likely you’ll relapse before we settle on…” and off my mind will go, to the places where pain is made of—hunger, nausea, zits, spasms, jaw and teeth cracks, toxic fish and purple prosciutto, boiling blood, infertility and mummified babies, loss of libido, hysterectomies, vestibulectomies, or, just imagine that giant COVID test q-tip shoved up where nothing has ever been before (no matter that I am no virgin), so that those fleshy things you always knew were inside you processing energy and pumping blood but could never be felt are suddenly very easy to place on the map of your body because boy, are they wide awake, kicking and screaming for their lives—where I touch and I’m not sure what it is that I feel (feel like hurt, feel like fear, feel like me or you or who; call me Sin!), so when the questions keep coming the answers still don’t—if you’re not the specialist, am I supposed to be? Answer me! Answer! Here it is, heavy inside me, hot. Throbbing, a tumor I can’t go without. How wonderful to melt my nails into it, squeeze it until it drains, until my fingers meet in the middle, then rip. I’d take a steak knife to my belly; tear it open like a stranded cowboy making his horse into shelter. I’d go without feet and legs, bowels, sex. I’d be a heart and a brain, swinging around on my hands, just a stacked ball and square with hair on top. Let me do it. Let me. Please, oh, please. Let me. “I will be, I will be, I will be left pregnant with a God’s gift to Eve. Pain.”
she c r y? w h
ur fa mi l n yo i ? s ti
V sO v
y. . .
e ld w o w ho
been? have t s u ere m
ys soh ave you alwa
??? i n s u r a n
wh en .
p ap endi e mc i
en . . .
.. re you? when .
e born, wer
a . . . VE
The Nook torie foss
There’s a nook, next to nowhere but one step from everything. It’s hidden away in the back corner of a bookshop, lost among the stories, fitted between the fantasies, delicately balanced on the dreams. It breathes the cosmic stuff of galaxies, inhaling the dust of planets and exhaling star systems, a million years wide. Yet, in its whole, the nook is little more than a closet. Cozy, in a way no cosmic thing should be, it sits in the shadow of skyscrapers, dwarfed by cold steel. It lies comfortably in the shade, and whispers. The whispers should get lost in winding streets, buried beneath blaring horns and mindless chatter. They should be trampled by the steps of the overworked, the harried, the ones with far too much to do in far too little time. But the nook is an expert in its craft; well-placed whispers fair better than a shout in a noisy room. The nook reaches out, letting its voice be carried on the wind. Past the skyscrapers. Past the bustle. Past the crowd. The whispers float into the corners of the city, to the outskirts, to the forgotten. Every day, the nook calls, and every day, it says the same thing. Come to me, dear dreamers. Come to me, and know. And they come. Artists, in their paint-splattered pants, run deft fingers along the woodwork of the front door. Students stumble out of the rain, soaked to the skin because their tomes are worth more than their shirts. Musicians waltz through the rows of books, secure in every step. Writers are the most tempted, and the most cautious. The nook pulls at them, tugs at their telltale hearts, but the writers do not run toward it. No one knows hallowed ground better than a priest, so they step lightly, afraid to disturb the stories that slumber around them.
They are met by the owner at the front desk. He’s a portly man, youthful in the way that only dreamers can be. His thinning white hair is a stark contrast to his glittering eyes as he welcomes the travelers. He was a traveler once, too. Years ago, he set off on his quest, reaching for the world as if he could hold it in his hand. While he soon realized the world was too big to be cradled, he discovered that this small bookshop, and its nook, were the perfect size. Now, with one hand gripping a cane and the other waving excitedly, he beckons the dreamers forward. They follow. The nook is obscured by a heavy curtain that cascades to the floor. The owner leaves all travelers there, at the precipice. It’s their choice, whether they step inside or step away. It’s a choice to be made in the solitude of one’s own mind. If curious eyes should open, if curious fingers should push away the veil, there awaits inspiration that would cause the Muses themselves to fall to their knees and weep. Artists are in awe as they reach to touch a magnum opus of color and light as it wraps around them. Students laugh as if startled, staring at their theories and philosophies stretched above their heads. Musicians cry tears of joy as a symphony surrounds them. They dance, they sing, and just for a moment, they hold the stars in their palms. Writers see no flash of light, hear no symphony. There, behind that curtain, lies a door. The writers smile. They let their fingers brush the knob, but they never grab ahold. They never turn it. They never need to. They already know the world that lies beyond, just as they know it’s not tangible. Not yet. They leave with a small, satisfied smile on their faces anyways. Perhaps the nook isn’t special, or magical. Perhaps it is made of nothing more than brick, mortar and wood. Perhaps it is just a space, a blank canvas, in need of an artist. Perhaps the souls who stagger in—all the dreamers in search of purchase— bring all the magic they’ll ever need.
Elliot Van Noy
So I have a mom just like you have a mom, but my mom gives me herself in transferred documents that seep into my skin as I read them. She’s a real worker, that mom of mine. She works from home. She types in an email
“Check this out— You’ll be inheriting this trait of mine Wednesday.” I click on the file, and it feels to me like you used to feel when you’d click on the link to dress-up game from another one called “Sexy Fairy,” and then listen to the automated jingling of the dodaaadeeeedaseeeraaa, a sexy fairy figurine purring out of the home computer, and you’d make sure the door of the computer room was closed so your parents wouldn’t see the word sexy above the glittering frame of the naked fairy you’re taking pleasure in dragging clothes over. It’s a rush that’s for sure. I just got the transfer, and I felt it pulling at me after the party-attenders left, the bad-at-hosting trait getting all under my feet. I had to tell them all to try and catch a bus because I didn’t want them there even though they were drunk on the generous-when-serving trait that poured them all a big batch of spicy apple cider rum. I greet this new trait; this blinding need to collect all the mugs staining the floor all sticky, and I could feel the custard they had wiped badly with a kleenex sticking on my skin, pimpling it, and then the black mold sprouting in the shower sounds like a symphony and I have to lie down to really understand what Mom has given me. Right here on the bathroom tile, I settle myself with the talking-loudly-to-myself trait and act on the love-cracking-my-toes trait and get down to my screen to write Mom an email. The window to the night open in my room. How intense this new one is to be in.
Dear Mom, I am begging you. When I am going to get okay-withhaving-sex trait. A big jump here, I know. Thank you for everything you do for me. Could you give me losing it to a thirty-two year old? A sweet one? I am watching the cat clean it’s paw. It’s all I do. Sit here with a dress-up game. I have the it’s-all-Ican-think-about trait, but I am missing the other component, so I would like that soon please. Love you And Mom can’t control it is the bad thing. She knows I know she can’t control it, so she’s clutching her keyboard knowing of my hurt, and my-super-guilty trait hurts that I made her feel bad for her faultlessness in the matter, that lack of ability to give to her daughter, and none of that is really said yet.
RY T E
TRY E O P
TRY POE TRY POE
POE TR POETRY
RY ET PO
RY T E PO
Y RY ET
RY ET PO
TRY E PO
PO ET R
POETR Y TRY
Chancellor Street Train you’ve lived along the rail road tracks every year since you hit 18.
they’re clouded by shadows you tell me how the tracks get drunk in the evening. a silence to its species: smashing bottles dead air. the train comes in the early morning, before the sun has come up behind the bridge, the tracks straighten their belts prepare for a trembling. the deep voice is a pacifier to all the vacancies built up in you – making up for lost time in shrieks and weighty trembles to the door frame – apologizer. apologizing for taking so long to come. rhythm on and on on and on and on becoming a familiar whisper kneeling at your bedside, again.
let yourself drift off, dwelling in his rushing-off-ness in a forever kind of way –
never to see when he’s gone, never to see the way this room turns back into a shell.
Pick a convenient grave My rabbi warns me, Sin pooled in a wine glass between us. She flinches when I reach for it, somehow settled Only by the ease with which I hold it. The worst sinners and those who see themselves Saints. I do not have this problem. She prays under her breath as she reads her Talmud, Searching, grasping, Desperate for guidance. I smile over the lip of the glass and she Bares her teeth. Dear God, tattoos aren’t the worst thing about me
ENGINEERS WONDER IF THERE IS A BETTER WAY TO SHUTDOWN A BROWSER WITH TOO MANY TABS - Berkeley Wilkins The panicking chirps of the birds at night that no one sees. Well, I gotta go to bed (sorryforcallingsolate_imissedthesoundofyourvoice.mp3) & there’s a good morning in you every night. If a forest is empty, who will listen? The streets are more streets & train tracks & the systems of metropolitan transportation (the man of miles). I have a playlist for shuffling that when one song ends, another begins because words lose their meaning after hearing them for the sixth or seventh time. Somehow a playlist is a time capsule. The ads tell me if I listen again, I can start over. Press this button to START OVER. Do you ever start over? Today is sunless and I’ve been missing you & I have this space in my room while I sleep like a maniac, keeping myself in triangles. What is modern warfare? (textmewhenyoufinishdownloadingmyface.jpeg) let me turn on my ZoomText; let your words speak out. I love you aloud. I’ll tell you when this is over, how I’m overflowing with your messages (those cyberpuddles). I’m making myself into a green-screen so I can be nowhere all the time = (ghost of teleportation, IMG_009). You keep me close with my picture on your touchscreen at ALL LOCATIONS AT ONCE. I am disembodied & 2-dimensional, stuck in the basement while a renaissance waits to happen. Sometimes, I wait forever and still I won’t restart. I am on the server, but there is no kill switch—no way out.
Tides - Ria Sardesai they say the tides come and go at the mercy of the glowing moon. its beautiful. its dark. its twisted. and as i walk these cobbled stones bright marks inked in my skin and the taste of champagne bubbled on my tongue, i wonder when did the low tide arrive? it was high only moments before crashing into me with white foam and sung praises, with harsh lips and harsher touch. it swept me in its tidal wave and left me breathless and tear stained. i hated myself after that high. maybe i hated myself more in the cold autumn wind. it was 4 am when i returned home, covered in someone else’s scent. i scrubbed till that glowing moon felt a little smoother. felt a little less like throwing up. i looked in the mirror before slinking off to sleep as the sun rose. i saw the purple and red craters that graced my neck, and the gentle starlit glow of my skin. its a low tide now, as i trace the lines of my body that had just been traced by other hands before. i am truly at the tides’ mercy with every incredible high comes the sinking low. one day i will break the cycle and free myself from the pushing and pulling and taking. but as i sleep when the sun rises, i know today is not that day. but maybe soon. i hope it is soon. only the tides can tell. 21
self made Anna Weese-Grubb
i can’t help / but laugh/ at the businessmen / in their clumsy suits/ with gilded words / as we / venerate them / as self-made./ they wouldn’t / not by a long shot / understand the real struggle / in which / a man / not even 12 years / of age, cries / real, back-breaking / tears over the dreaded / realisation that he, / too, is abnormal./ small business ownership / the truest form / of providing for / a family / pales in comparison / to those intramuscular / injections of life-giving / depression alleviating / genuine T. / not T as in tryptophan / an amino acid / yes i learned / other things /not trypophobia / the fear of holes / although / i could see / where it stems / not talisman / though gods / know i use mine / far too often. / ignore the profit. / millionaires have / nothing on me; / i built a name from / the ground up and / up and up. / signing a company / or firm / holds nothing / to the heady / secret bonfire / that is / reinventing reality / a new name / a new face / almost perfect / just gotta find / T / a knife / maybe two / perhaps three / most importantly / T / change the F / how much to / re embroider / two stockings? / do dogs / recognise deeper voices? / exchange but / make it vocal / not stocks / what’s the /market price of / T / of printing / new ID / the business men / could never understand.
boutique a collaboration with
Arsenic & Old Lace
Strolling on the downtown mall one day, we found ourselves in Arsenic & Old Lace boutique, utterly in love with their collection. In collaboration with their owner, we outfitted and styled a shoot around some of their more iconic pieces. The result is both iconic, modern and yet still has some of the classic elegance and sensibility characteristic of vintage looks.
Photographers: Léo Zhang, Enya Pfeiffer Models: Donavon Lea, Elliot Van Noy, Sara Makarem, Charlotte Giff Makeup Artist: Morgan Negrón Stylist: Myka Greene Set design: Mia Gualtieri 23 Creative Directors: Christina Hara, André Hirschler
special thanks to arsenic and old lace, located in downtown 24 clothing, accessories, and decor. charlottesville, for providing all
Two years after the Stonewall riots, where the LGBTQ community rebelled against the overpolicing of gay bars, New York City legalized the act of two men dancing together. With this, the burgeoning disco scene in New York’s gay community flourished. Gay people traded in serious rock music and weighty protest songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” of the 1960s to dance their worries away and escape into a world of glamour, hedonism, and sensuality. Disco was born out of gay liberation. People; gay, straight, Black, brown and white, crowded dancefloors where bass boomed and disco balls rotated from the ceiling, reflecting shimmering lights throughout low-lit rooms. For a few short hours, their differences were of no consequence. In its purest form, disco was unabashedly black, queer, and sensual. The best example of this is Sylvester, the openly queer singer of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).” Sylvester’s androgynous
appearance and falsetto encapsulated the queerness and Blackness of disco. His ethereal falsetto blurred the lines between masculine and feminine with its non-descript sound. Blurring the gender binary was not uncommon in disco music. Michael Jackson followed suit with his upper register on “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and Donna Summer subverted gender norms by empowering female sexuality and sex work on “Bad Girls.” In 1977, disco mainstream America co-opted with the film “Saturday Night Fever.” It presented disco in a white, masculine, heterosexual package, making a genre popularized by Black women and enjoyed by gay men palatable for the average American. Many Black or queer artists still dominated the charts after the film. However, the question remains: why could this not occur with them at the forefront of the genre? Not only did white, straight men make disco mainstream, they also killed it. On July 12, 1979, The Major League Baseball organization promoted Disco Demolition Night. Attendees were allowed entry for 98c if carrying a disco record. Around 50,000 people crowded the stadium. At the end of the baseball game, disc Jockey, Steve Dahl, burned disco records. This sparked a riot, with police making 39 arrests. This event hastened disco's demise as there was already an oversaturation of the genre and growing conservatism in the United
L I B E R ATI N G
IS C O
Rodgers of Chic, or artists like Mariah Carey, Beyonce, and Samii. For smaller artists like Samii, a crucial method of support is buying music. Artists make fractions of a penny from streaming. Buying music puts more money directly in their pocket. Ultimately, if we fail to acknowledge disco's queer and Black roots in the present, we risk whitewashing its past. Music will never see a genuine rebirth of disco, but its influence is omnipresent in popular culture. The prominence of the soul train line at parties and family gatherings and the resurgence of roller skating and roller discos in 2020 are all products of the genre. Such things permeate our lives, yet their creators are forgotten or erased. The impact of the Black and queer creators of disco is undeniable and deserving of recognition. Disco was demolished, but it will never burn out.
States. Disco Demolition Night further highlighted these sentiments, making its downfall inevitable. Historians debate if the riot was a product of homophobia and racism, or the genre’s oversaturation and commercialization. Dahl maintains it was about supporting the dying rock genre. He has said, “It's really easy to look at it historically...and attach [homophobia and racism] to [Disco Demolition Night]. But we weren't thinking like that.” Despite this, the night was fueled by a hatred for disco: participants blew up disco records, carried banners reading “disco sucks,” and chanted that phrase. Such an overt reaction against something so closely linked to queerness and Blackness is deeply symbolic — regardless of intent. Similar to its popularization and death, disco revivals are products of straight, white artists like Dua Lipa and Carly Rae Jepsen. Most notable is Justin Timberlake. Timberlake has three successful disco tracks: “Love Never Felt so Good,” “Can’t Stop This Feeling,” and “The Other Side.” Timberlake's track record with women and Black artists is less than stellar. He publicly mocked Prince and remained silent while Janet Jackson faced misogynoir after the 2004 Super Bowl. It is unjust to allow him to profit from disco, a genre pioneered by Black artists. Listeners must problematize his success and their consumption of his music. To counterbalance such co-opting, listeners must support disco music from mainstream and smaller Black and queer artists. For instance, Nile
woke up on June 2nd, 2020 to a swarm of texts: “Have you seen Instagram?” “Are you going to post?” I quickly checked my feed and found an endless stream of black squares. That day was coined “Blackout Tuesday,” organized by members of the music industry to halt normal posts and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement after the tragic murder of George Floyd. Its intentions were quickly capitalized on by everyday Instagram users who posted black squares to show their support. The day was later labeled as performative; some users posted simply to signal their allyship, while not posting at all was perceived as apathetic. The day was even considered destructive, as Instagram’s algorithm flooded #blacklivesmatter with black squares instead of information, displaying just how quickly “bad” activism can spread. Nonetheless, I believe the day fundamentally changed how activists and other users interact with Instagram. Almost overnight, my feed transformed into a forum for education and action that I can take, even from within quarantine. Obviously, Instagram activism existed before summer 2020. But when acts of police violence coincided with the isolation of the pandemic, the ties between activism and social media strengthened. Posts with government officials to call, bail funds to which to donate, and petitions to sign circulated with fervor. This use of Instagram engaged ordinary people in activism, satiating their hunger to organize and protest without breaking COVID-19 quarantine restrictions. In typical Instagram fashion, this new wave of activist content was aestheticized to fit the platform. This focus on visuals raised questions about which posts Instagram promotes and which it suppresses. Some content — depending on its attractiveness or impact — seems to have more inherent viral potential than others. Instagram’s infrastructure has since changed to reflect this rise in activism. Certain tools that enable virtual activism have been present on the platform for years: for example, being able to put links in one’s bio and republish posts. Going further though, Instagram created a donation sticker through Instagram Stories for users to start
fundraisers for their followers to donate to without exiting the app. Extending beyond the BLM movement, Instagram has tried to create means to promote social justice concerns and community involvement in many different ways. For example, in the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, voting became trendy with links helping people register on Stories and voting-themed stickers. Another way in which the platform has changed in response to this revolutionary moment is that Instagram pages are no longer just for individuals to share their own memories. Now there are pages entirely dedicated to social causes and the spread of accurate information, almost like mini news feeds embedded within the sometimes-vapid world of Instagram. One particular news-oriented site that I followed in the past year and continue to interact with is @shityoushouldcareabout. They post a range of socially aware content on topics including environmentalism, politics and elections, protests, and even pop culture. What feels most resonant about their page is that they make the news — even when extremely important and sensitive — feel accessible, reflecting a definite movement away from stuffy, traditional news sites. In my opinion, this page perfectly delivers on their name in the way that they overwhelmingly make me care, and do so by keeping me educated and active when I could otherwise be ignorant or passive. It is important to acknowledge that, as a white user, I have experienced Instagram activism and this past year very differently from BIPOC users. I still believe, however, that this rise in social media activism has sparked conversations, enabled accessible activism, and led to genuine allyship that may not have occurred otherwise. Many of us are familiar with the critique of Instagram that it allows people to share their thoughts so openly and anonymously that misuses of the platform run rampant. But I actually think this facade can work in the favor of activists as it permits people to post, like, and comment on what they believe, in a quick and free manner. I can only hope that, as the world opens back up, these Instagram activists remain real, disinhibited, and passionate activists whose work extends beyond a black square.
No other sneaker brand has the cult following like the Air Jordan brand, Jordan for short. Michael Jordan radically changed streetwear culture and fashion with the introduction of his trademark sneakers. The first Jordan’s were re-
Jordan logo. Cult sneakerheads swear by only buying Jordan 4’s with the Nike Air logo on the back of the shoe because that is a feature of the original design. Although the Jordan 4 did not radically introduce any new sneaker technology, Hatfield’s inclusion of the mesh paneling provided a crucial element needed for basketball: breathability. Basketball is an extremely intense sport with players running across different sides of the court to pass and shoot. Thus, breathability is crucial when it comes to performance because sweat-wicking technology allows players to move better and lose fewer electrolytes from perspiration. This mesh paneling helps differentiate the Jordan 4. Also, The Jordan 4 originally came out with a leather upper but modern Jordan 4’s have come out in materials such as nubuck, suede, and even Levi’s denim. It is one of the most versatile pairs of Jordans because it can be dressed up and dressed down; people have even worn the Jordan 4 with a suit! One of the most famous Jordan 4’s is the White Cement Jordan 4’s originally released in 1989. In 2020, Off-White released a pair of Jordan 4’s designed by Virgil Abloh, the Creative Director
leased in 1984 by Nike: the Air Jordan 1. The rest is history; the shoes instantly became a best seller for Nike and sell millions of dollars worth of pairs. Jordans also became an icon of pop culture. The nostalgia tied to the brand reminds people of the times Jordan played in the same shoes. The Jordan brand released a new pair of shoes for the remainder of Jordan’s career on an approximately annual basis. The most famous Jordan sneakers are the Jordan 1 through the Jordan 11 sneakers. Tinker Hatfield, a designer at Nike, is credited with designing most of the original Jordan sneakers that remain popular to this day. Of all the sneakers, the Jordan 4 is arguably the most iconic because of its distinct design and mesh paneling. The Jordan 4 sneaker is known for its timeless design, created to be worn on the court. How-
ever, it was hijacked by sneakerheads who rock the Jordan 4 with everyday outfits. First introduced in 1989, the Jordan 4 is another masterpiece by Tinker Hatfield. A key differentiator of the Jordan 4’s style is its sleek silhouette and mesh paneling throughout the shoe, which provides breathability. It features a Nike air sole, pull tabs for easy access, and an improved lacing design to make it easier to tie shoes on and off the court. Original Jordan 4’s feature the iconic Nike Air logo on the back of the sneakers, but non-retro sneakers feature just the
of Off-White, that instantly sold out. It has been thirty-two years since the original release, yet it remains a popular shoe today amongst basketball players and sneakerheads alike. The Jordan 4 continues to be a wildly popular sneaker and the resale value consistently rises. Simply put, the Jordan 4 is a stylish, iconic shoe that will remain popular for years and years to come. This icon status comes from Nike’s persistence and strategy to design a shoe with Michael Jordan and to utilize Nike sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield to create such an aesthetically pleasing sneaker. You can now find the Jordan 4 in all types of colorways, including pastel and neon colors, while maintaining its timeless look. No other Jordan is as versatile as the Jordan 4 and that is why the Jordan 4 is the icon of the Air Jordan brand!
n o i t a l iso BY
It has been over a year since COVID-19 has dramatically altered our world. As a result, we have been spending an increasing amount of time at home. Furthermore, the word home for college students has always been a complex term. Is home our childhood bedroom? Is it Gibbons, Grandmarc, a sorority, or a fraternity? Right now most of us are forced to find our home in a small room and stay in it for an uncomfortable portion of our day. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in social interaction. With less social interaction comes more time alone, and more alone time forces everyone to become comfortable with their own company. So how do we make this alone time more enjoyable? This recent decrease in socialization has taken away our many opportunities to find joy in expressing ourselves through personal style. However, we have spent so much time in the confines of our apartments and dorm rooms that these spaces have perhaps morphed into our identities. Making these spaces of solitude ones that truly feel personalized and in line with who we are has become an integral part of finding joy in these times. Before Covid, my personal style was a tool I used to express myself, as I am sure it was for many others. I found joy in picking out an outfit and wearing it to class. It was a daily choice that allowed me to dictate how others perceived me in a controlled, yet small, way. I admit I found solace in compliments, and validation was something I chased. Nowadays I find that external acknowledgment in close friends, but it is a much less frequent occurrence. Instead, I think a lot of us have channeled the desire to express
ourselves through the personalization of our interior spaces. We no longer have as much agency over how others perceive us through the way we dress. I think it’s almost a cliche at this point to make a note of this- but we have all been spending a lot of time in sweatpants. However, now we can explore selfexpression through new forms of media. We don’t need to ornament our bodies, we can ornament our walls and our furniture and be content with these spaces without the need for external validation. There is a certain power that exists within creating a space for ourselves and not having to share it with others. That’s the difference
between fashion and interior design. With fashion (before the pandemic) we would put on outfits and go on with our days in public spaces. People would see our choices of selfexpression. They had an open window into how we saw ourselves that day, and how we chose to manifest it through our clothing. Now we can make these choices and keep them private. We only need to share our spaces with people we feel comfortable letting in. This selective internalization is what I think has made interior design during the Covid pandemic so powerful. Empowerment is found when we get our spaces right, but what happens when our
spaces don’t match our personalities? I think that can result in the same unsettling feeling of leaving your house and realizing that you are completely uncomfortable and stuck in a certain outfit for the day. Although this may seem trivial, this mismatched feeling can have a much larger impact on the courses of our days than we might think. When this negative duality exists constantly in the air of our studying, sleeping, and living spaces, the effects are even more detrimental to the minds of the visually inclined. However, the good thing is that spaces can be transformed, and as college
students, our spaces are seldom permanent. So, as long as this pandemic continues, and as long as we are stuck in our little rooms, we have been given a gift. We can take risks w i t h o u t fear, and rather than finding joy in expressing ourselves to others, we can find ourselves through the curation of our temporary spaces. Where we spend the majority of our time has more of an impact on us than we would think.
Caroline Young SECOND YEAR “I sometimes wonder if the way I decorate my room is a projection of who I want to be vs a representation of who I actually am.”
“I love that my room feels unique or distinct in some way. I especially love when people walk in and are taken aback by how tidy and decorated it is. I guess guys aren’t expected to have anything in their room aside from piles of laundry and some generic posters? I don’t know.”
Caroline Pittard FOURTH YEAR
“My space is filled with what I find lovely and some will probably say that this represents me as a person since it includes a lot of art, natural aspects like flowers and plants, and eclectic objects. I would say that my process of decorating and my dedication to the time intensive labor of curation is what is more reflective of me.”
Andre Hirschler FOURTH YEAR 45
“Chaos in its distilled form is what I hope to convey with my pieces: disarray and confusion simplified to the mundane objects and experiences at the root.” 47
“Fashion to me is a form of self-expression. Each piece I create is meant to tell a story. I am going to change the future of fashion with these pieces. That’s my goal to make changes and contribution to the fashion world and to the world of art. These pieces are also meant to be a source of healing to the wearer. Made with love and thought.”
Davon Okoro Photographer: Charlotte Giff
revision this living is no sacrifice it is an arrival of unmet grace an invitation against his twisted agony and all my bones belong the snap of light teasing sound a flickered carousel a pleasing with and for all the gods of my body for i am cut from devil’s teeth we know a place and the fire is burning where the press is pressure and rupture is the language we have come to know we know a place where i am both held and hers
TRANSFIXED Photographer: Léo Zhang set Design: Mia Gualtieri, Jaison Washington, Varun Chharia, Myka Greene, Vibha Vijay
In collaboration with CRAVE, we created a unique runway set and made a photoshoot of the show. We’d like to imagine this as the future of fashion and runways. Vintage clothes provided by Virlé Cole.