Letter From the Collective (Despair Issue)

The Student Insurgent #press release

ch0ccyra1n: Alongside contributing to summerisle’s piece Introduction to Anarcho-Nihilism, I also took it upon myself to write the piece Anarchist Leaks the TSA No Fly List because it exposes the racism inherent to the security theater institution in the form of data visualization. This sort of approach to understanding institutional racism has previously been used by W.E.B. DuBois for the 1900 Paris Exposition, and I hope my article will be insightful. However, since I was unable to finish the data analysis in-time, the article will primarily go over the technical details until it is properly finished, where the web version will be updated.

J. Ellis: The journey I’ve been on with The Student Insurgent is the embodiment of hope and despair, an ebb and flow of constant contradiction. Hope and despair captures a revolutionary dialectic, the lowest of lows and highest of highs. I’ve seen this publication at its worst, and I’ve also seen some of its best times. As my last issue as an editor, it was important to me that we tell the story we’ve been living through in recent years. The climate for political organizing is tougher than ever, but also more necessary than ever. I don’t know what will happen to the Insurgent after I’m gone, and that prospect fills me with both dread and faith. I’ve exhausted myself of this venture; I grow tired but dare not fall asleep.

Summerisle: Despair is a paralyzing emotion. When engaging in any form of action its important to bring your anger with you, but it’s just as important to bring _joy _- joy at working with your comrades, joy at helping others, joy for the world you’re working for. Joy and anger are animating forces that thaw the ice of despair.ir

Serbal Vidrio: As the radical feminist saying goes, the personal is political, and in interweaving personal stories with political narratives, I have sought to bring this principle to life in my writing for The Student Insurgent. In this issue, I pair my thinking around issues of Indigenous autonomy in Colombia, of the despair inflicted by colonialism and the hope that has emerged from cultural and territorial resistance and reexistence, with the lows and highs of my own life story. As far away from Eugene as my writings are set, I hope that readers here can take from them lessons of hope and resilience applicable to the personal and political struggles they are engaged in.

Dorian Blueː During Winter Term, I always feel a certain degree of melancholy. The rain pounds down, the clouds crowd me in. Though, it is also a time of renewal, where I can spend my hours inside and ponder. Recently, I’ve continued my meditations on queerness and vampires, with my piece about AMC’s Interview With the Vampire and the way it navigates the despair, yet freedom, offered by an eternal life. The frustrating politics of campus are on my mind as well, with the recent situation with ASUO cutting NASU’s budget. Much healing is needed, especially as the world around us continues to fall into a state of distressing violence.

Brigham B.H: This is my first term with The Student Insurgent, and it’s been filled with nothing but hope for me as a writer. Looking at our behavior as a society, particularly as young people, in response to government action within news and social media is crucial to the way we read the news. My piece is centered on not-so-free press, and the perspective people must have moving forward to filter through sprawling propaganda as it becomes a daily occurrence. As much as some media outlets attempt to push us to a place of despair and desperation, a collective sense of hope must be established as a response to the oppression of our right to consume information.

River: the despair comes easy, easy like the leaves fall like the police kill like it was born within or maybe we were just born into it. and the hope, in its intriguing colors, taunts, feels or looks out of reach most hours of most days like meeting the beach before sunset, in winter, when the days are too short and we wrestle with worth, with forgiveness. but then, the beach, beyond the fog; in the sun, like a dark shell was shed and even if only briefly, there’s so much love and meaning in this eternal, fleeting, moment. and i think, drunkenly hopeful, everything that felt never worth it, was all so we could be right here and hold feelings as deep as i imagine the ocean to sink into earth.

haze: i was very excited when we decided that the theme for this issue would be despair and hope—i had a really great idea for a written piece, and i couldn’t wait to see what everyone had to contribute and piece this zine together. then, the depression hit, harder than it has in a long time. for three weeks i struggled to even get out of bed, and of course i never got around to writing my submission. and i wasn’t alone—the state of the world right now is not conducive to good mental health. but we live in a beautiful world. an evening two weeks ago, i left my house just after sunset, feeling miserable, and i saw a crocus—my first this spring. that single flower had a profound impact on me, and i ended up getting up the next morning and going to class. every year after the coldest, darkest winter, these flowers come back, heralding the return of the sun, of the spring, of hope. and so must we.

Rosie/Misandry: It sounds corny but it’s true that life cannot be beautiful if it isn’t also filled with despair. Despair is a difficult but necessary part of the human experience. We cannot have hope without despair, we cannot have happiness without despair, we cannot exist without despair. Like a rainbow after the storm, the joy that comes after the hardships is what makes humanity so complexly beautiful.

Joe Hill: The critical essence of revolutionary politics is the act of struggle against what seems like impossible odds. Against the ever-more engorged forces of capital, the task of reclaiming our humanity seems to become ever dimmed. However, do not let go of hope! Behind us stand a hundred generations who have fought for our emancipation. It is their legacy which we inherit, and it is their soul which still burns brightly in our movement. What was their cause is now our own: liberation. Let us keep fighting the good fight, and regain the dignity we all deserve!