Letter from the Editors (Issue 2)

Fall 2020 Issue

Dear readers, 

Welcome to the second issue of The Documentarian Magazine, titled “Sub-environments.” The documents of this issue reflect a deeper look into specific ways that environmental degradation, environmental injustice, and environmental disregard are continued in our society. 

The word “environment” encompasses a multitude of thoughts, feelings, and ideas. We wanted to invite writers and artists to explore the myriad of complexities surrounding this word. For instance, the idea that an “environment” is not just a national park or a protected forest. Think about the house in which you grew up, the city you currently live in, the air you breathe, the water you drink: these are also environments. Through this lens, living in neighborhoods with police violence is an environmental issue, and climate change can’t be reversed without examining the countless ways that structural racism are imbedded in this global crisis. 

This issue of the magazine could not possibly address all of the environmental issues that happen in our every day lives, or that have occurred in the past months. We have therefore decided on the name “Sub-environments”, an alternative outlook on environmental issues, and a more personal narrative on the crises at hand. We begin with Raini’s piece, addressing how to talk about climate change, paired with pieces of Emilie’s project called “ClimateExplained.” Both are introductions to the language of environmental change and how we can communicate more efficiently with individuals who might not have the same views as us. Madeleine analyzes Israel and Palestinian waste issues, which slightly parallels Franklin’s photography, a multidimensional and textural document of the New Jersey Meadowlands and the harmful waste that surrounds the area. Morgan offers an animal’s perspective on its own environment and Freddy sheds light on his own body in a poem, while Mána reframes notes from her time working at a hotel in Iceland. This issue also introduces sound for the first time, with Frank’s recordings of an endangered forest and Telo’s recordings of a schoolhouse organ paired with field recordings.

We are grateful to our contributors for their unique perspectives and experiences which have formed this second issue of The Documentarian. We are excited for the future of this magazine and we encourage you to get in touch if you want to contribute. The next few months may be difficult and turbulent. Vote, double-check facts that you hear, be kind, diligent, and never compromise for democracy. 

See you in the Winter.

– Mána and Telo