Letter From the Editor
January 19, 2020
From the pages of Issue 5: Black + White
By Jennifer Gurecki | @yogurecki
Now that we have one year under our belt, things are beginning to tighten up at Sisu Magazine. Issue 5: Black & White is the first issue where we decided upon a theme months before we went to print, rather than the day before. Previously, we had allowed for it to emerge organically, and surprisingly, this approach worked. There’s still an element of serendipity, where the connections between pieces exist without our influence, but this time we were more intentional.
One of the reasons for this shift is based on the world around us. Everywhere we look, we see opposite ends of the spectrum sparring, with little appreciation for what lies in the middle. We’ve become so dogmatic that even the most progressive people are conservative in their approaches when it comes to managing discourse within their own circles. Frances Lee, best known for their piece “Excommunicate Me From the Church of Social Justice,” explores this very subject inside this issue, writing about the need for imperfect apologies to bring activists and allies back together.
We also are seeing the very definition of what it means to be outdoorsy evolve. No longer can we force each other into identifying either as a city slicker or nature lover. The two are coalescing and the lines that once separated us are disappearing. Our feature on Mappy Hour dispels the myth that you can’t find outdoor experiences in cities, uncovering some of the most interesting places to recreate in urban areas. Faith Brigg’s piece on the Brotherhood of Skiing reminds us once again that we haven’t been paying attention—or perhaps we’ve been fooled by the media—to who actually plays outside.
One of the most significant departures from a binary perspective is gender fluidity. The notion that there are two genders—men and women—is quickly eroding to expose a more nuanced and honest representation of gender. There’s nothing unisex about this reordering of society; there is a broad spectrum of human beings who are choosing their own identity rather than being told how to show up in this world. From Lou Bank’s photo essay on their experience of embracing a new body after top surgery, to Hannah Aram’s decision to compete professionally as the first trans woman in the Freeride World Tour, Issue 5: Black & White explores the depth of what lies in the middle.
It’s those shades, those halftones, that we rarely experience. But that is where the truth lies. The place where hope lives that we can be better, more inclusive, more aware, more active than what we are today. You see, Issue 5 has nothing to do with being black or white. It’s all about the subtleties and the nuances that have been hidden in between.