Art is responsive. Issue 2 came to fruition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising waves of white supremacy, and mass movements against the pain and disconnection that intersecting structures of oppression have caused communities all over the world.
As an interfaith journal that aspires toward radical inclusion yet emerges from an academic institution the Global North, we are increasingly aware of technological and language barriers, and the perception that certain arts – and even spiritualities – are intended for people of privilege. As we recognize that intention is not enough, we are making efforts to reach out more broadly – not only to highlight these voices from the margins, but to build a stronger, more vibrant spiritual arts community.
This Issue’s design consciously reflects the turmoil of the past year, uplifting the creative breadth of the Black experience beyond the political: to the spiritual, emotional, familial, and personal. We reserved colors for our Black Lives Matter section, and moved the rest of the journal through themes of darkness to light, despair to hope. This issue literally centers the Black Experience, celebrating the divinity and vibrancy of Black Lives despite state violence and oppression. The placement of this section is symbolic of the fact that our society’s movement towards a just future cannot be realized without the catalyzing persistence of Black joy, faith, love, and connection.
We also aimed to keep accessibility at the forefront of our design. Sometimes this meant realizing we had made a mistake, and reorganizing large portions of our design. We also made a concerted effort to provide alternative text for all of our visual pieces so that they could be enjoyed by visually impaired people as well as seeing people. This effort must be the baseline, and we welcome feedback as we strive to make our journal the best that it can be.
With all this in mind, we thank our extraordinary contributors and invite you to enjoy this special issue of Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts. Please share it widely with your own communities, and promote the work of these poets, writers, and artists. Most of all, please lend your own voice to the struggle for liberation in our time.
– The Pensive Board