Call for submissions: “Here and There: The Diaspora Universe”

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UPDATE: The special issue on diaspora living, Here and There: The Diaspora Universe is now up at Cafe Dissensus.

Note: This submission call is on behalf of Cafe Dissensus.

About five years ago, I came to embody the etymology of the word diaspora, which comes from the Greek diaspeirein, meaning to scatter about or disperse. Marriage brought me to Western shores – first in balmy California and later to the Canadian shield in southern Ontario.

I find it interesting that the concept of diaspora has its roots in the earthly act of scattering, because the process of migration is one of dispersal on more levels than merely the physical one.

The drift across different points on a map can’t happen without cross-pollination – of habits and habitats, mindsets and memories. One learns to imagine the koel’s morning call in a robin’s song and see the blaze of gulmohar flowers in crimson fall colours. Diaspora islands germinate amidst fast-paced and crowded world cities even as the islanders strain to tread the tightrope between integrating and preserving.

I will be guest editing a forthcoming issue of Café Dissensus focusing on diaspora living. We will seek to explore through fiction, creative non-fiction, and audio-visual expressions:

1) The reality versus illusion of boundaries with respect to identities.

2) Inter-generational conflicts and contradictions in diaspora universes.

3) The challenges of “settling” in a new territory – societal, cultural, emotional.

4) The rewards of diaspora living – embracing new cultural mores, wider exposure to issues facing other communities, interconnectedness.

5) Translations of fiction and non-fiction work on diaspora.

Along with the written pieces, we are also open to audio-visual content. If you would like to do a short interview (5-15 minutes) with an author, a scholar, a faculty etc., please feel free to send that to us. Please send us an edited copy.

We are also looking to include photographs and artwork that explore this issue’s theme.

Your submissions should not exceed 1500 words. Please email them to infocafedissensus@gmail.com and bhashwati@gmail.com. Also, provide a brief bio at the end of your piece. This issue is planned for online publication on 1 July, 2014. Submissions will be accepted until June 25, 2014.

General guidelines are here.

Cafe Dissensus is an alternative magazine dealing in art, culture, literature, and politics. It’s based in New York City, USA.

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