Ancestors: Issue 45.1 Letter from the Editor

Serena Lukas Bhandar

As a settler descendant of multiple diasporas, I know much of my families’ histories only through stories I’ve heard—merry anecdotes of my grandma slaying rattlesnakes, my great-grandfather speaking Russian with Doukhobors, or mournful tales of another great-grandfather murdered over a land dispute, tales of plague, Partition, and poverty. I picture countless potential parallel futures as they dissolve in my hands.

As this issue of Room shows, stories are our lifeblood and our inheritance. For those of us whose voices have been pushed to the margins or erased, stories become a way to find our way back to what once was, and to cast our lives into the unforgiving present and future.

The stories found within the issue reflect an eclectic mix of approaches to the theme of ancestry: grandchildren mourn language and knowledge lost in the passing of grandmothers and seasons, dead forefathers rise from their graves to answer for past wrongs, and treasured kinfolk teach new generations how they once learned to survive.

In commissioned writer francesca ekwuyasi’s short story, a daughter reckons with the choices her mother had in marrying her polygamist father, as well as the choices she made in leaving her home in Lagos and choosing to marry a (white) woman. The fraught experience of race and ancestry under the spectre of white supremacy reappears in our interview with Syrus Marcus Ware, as he proposes re-centring BIPOC communities, Indigenous resurgence, Land Back, and disability justice movements in the fight against climate change.

Lastly, strangely, and somehow comfortingly, I found three otherwise unremarkable objects appear again and again as I edited the stories in the issue: pierogies, perennials, and polka dots. I hope that you find in this issue the same strange comfort that working on it has given to me.

~ Serena Lukas Bhandar

The stories found within the issue reflect an eclectic mix of approaches to the theme of ancestry: grandchildren mourn language and knowledge lost in the passing of grandmothers and seasons, dead forefathers rise from their graves to answer for past wrongs, and treasured kinfolk teach new generations how they once learned to survive.

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Cover of Audacity, featuring artwork "Guts" by Gaby D'Alessandro (a split torso with guts spilling out in muted browns, greens, and reds)

ROOM 45.3 AUDACITY
Edited by Molly Cross-Blanchard
Assistant Edited by Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros
Shadow edited by Ellen Chang-Richardson and Michelle Ha

In This Issue: Gwen Aube, Georgina Berbari, Brandi Bird, Alex Maeve Campbell, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Megan Cole, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Kayla Czaga, Gaby D’Alessandro, Petranella Daviel, Kate Finegan, Marlowe Granados, Hannah Green, Michelle Ha, Kendra Heinz, Eileen Mary Holowka, Barbara Hranilovich, nic lachance, Isabella Laird, Angélique Lalonde, Elene Lam, Khando Langri, Tin Lorica, Merkat, Mridula Morgan, Em Norton, Moses Ojo, Sandy Pool, Maezy Reign, Josephine Sarvaas, Sarah Totton, Preeti Vangani, Christine Wu, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Eugenia Zuroski

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