Letter from the Editors (Issue 4)

Summer 2021 Issue

Dear readers, 

As our country reopens at high-speed, we are excited to present the Summer 2021 Issue of The Documentarian, “Open Envelopes.” 

We began conceptualizing this issue around ideas of loss and absence when we reached the one year anniversary since the first COVID-19 lockdown. Over the Spring, the issue evolved beyond these more desolate themes and expanded into a collection of reflections, histories, and diaries both hopeful and introspective. It was also recently the one-year anniversary of our first issue, on May 19, and the birthday candles on the cover are an apt visual to this strange celebration. We had a little fun with this theme as you’ll find on the rear cover; a birthday wish from a younger Mána. 

To write an entire issue about loss seemed too difficult however, so we decided to focus on what is lost in a more abstract and poetic sense. Fragments of lost family histories are documented in this issue as well as fragments of a translated text, missing letters, fragmented reflections during a coup d’etat, and more. 

It is interesting to notice how the photographs in this issue resemble those of our first issue, with faces obscured by illustration; this time through cut-outs and collages. Though we didn’t intend on this similarity, it seems too obvious to ignore. As this issue marks our one year anniversary, we will be  including more photography of non-obscured faces in upcoming issues, while continuing our documentarian instincts. 

We have lost a lot this year, but as documentarians it is our duty to preserve and keep reflecting, making, observing, writing, and publishing these issues. When you reflect on what you have lost, there is also the possibility to notice and appreciate what remains. 

As always, thank you for reading and supporting our magazine. See you in the Fall.

-M & T 

Birthday (2013) by Olivier Picard