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Dispatch from Aztlán

Justin Kiersky, Denver, United States 

I am a passenger in this neighborhood, in this country…on this pale blue dot hurtling through the cosmos. I race my three-year-old daughter up the stairs of the Kiosko Azteca...

Plaza Girls — a diary

Chloe Ruthven, London, UK 
Illustrations: Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

Addendum to the fourteenth piece in our Polity of Literature series: In 2018, British writer and film-maker Chloe Ruthven traveled to the Moria Refugee Camp and then to Athens, where...

Refugee Zines

Sidd Joag, New York City, United States 
Illustrations: Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

The fourteenth piece in our Polity of Literature series: From exile in European cities to remote camps in embattled Myanmar, refugees facing every level of threat have created autonomous projects—zines—writing...

Translation

Elwood Jimmy, Toronto, Canada 
Gloria Swain, Toronto, Canada 
Carmen Papalia, Vancouver, Canada 
Vanessa Dion Fletcher,  
Sky Stonefish,  
Jenelle Rouse, London/Toronto, Canada 
Alex Bulmer,  
Taeyoon Choi, New York, USA / Seoul, South Korea 
Eliza Chandler, Toronto, Canada 

House of the Deaf Man (Quinta del Sordo)

Sidd Joag, New York City, United States 

Goya’s series of fourteen Black Paintings occupy a massive white room in the Prado in Madrid. I’ve never stood before them, but as a painter I’ve long studied his work....

Drawn Literature—Graphic Novels and Hannah Arendt’s Hair

Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

The thirteenth piece in our Polity of Literature series: The initial entry in the Polity of Literature inquiry, “Potatoes or Rice?,” asked: “How can we bring the faces and voices...

El Agua: An animated film by Jesi Jordan and Erick GarcĂ­a GĂłmez

Friendly Food Donations, Oaxaca, Mexico 

The majority of the 2.3 million domestic workers in Mexico live hand to mouth. When strict orders to quarantine at home were put in place in April, many of their employers prevented...

Summary Justice—A German Divorce

Sybille Bedford, London, UK 
Illustrations: Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

The twelfth piece in our Polity of Literature series: Recently in this series we’ve seen what happens to life stories when asylum seekers must appeal to nation-states for protection. Many...

Refugee on Trial: The Hole in the Donut

Niels Bekkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 
Illustrations: Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

The eleventh piece in our Polity of Literature series: Concluding our trilogy about “the hole in the donut”—that rule-bound space within which our readings of others can have shared, verifiable...

Werkinstructie 2019/17 from the Dutch IND

Translation: Niels Bekkema,  

In the Dutch asylum process, the Immigration and Naturalization Department (IND) frequently reviews and changes its working methods in response to political mandates and shifts in asylum case law. Lotte...

How the State Reads Queer Refugees

Lotte Wolff, Geneva, Switzerland 
Illustrations: Ken Krimstein, Chicago, United States 

Addendum to the tenth piece in our Polity of Literature series: In Ralph Severijns’ analysis of the state’s reading of refugee stories—that is, in the crucial “free narrative” that asylum...

Curse of Geography: Kibera

Emelda Ochieng, Nairobi, Kenya 
Luke Catena, Nairobi, Kenya 

“I really think it’s time to go,” our guide says as he nervously glances at his phone that glows half past five. Around us, as if on an unspoken cue,...