Bard Launch

Oblivion

 

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Oblivion

 

The two differing pictures are reflective of the existing belief of colorblindness that inevitably perpetuates white privilege in society.

Oblivion Magazine is an online and print publication that constructs social reality for people of color through personal anecdotes, poetry, art work, analysis of current events, photography, and more. Oblivion encourages a deeper awareness of issues and underlying attitudes that are often ignored or disregarded. This publication strives to foster the public dialogue about complex racial issues to sow the seeds for education, advocacy, and action towards equity and justice. Though we recognize that society can be oblivious to and selective with the perspectives it takes on, this magazine aims to provide the otherwise unconscious minds an opportunity to understand the importance of unheard voices. We hope this serves as a platform for action, both within the Bard community and outside of it.

After distributing our first few issues of Oblivion on campus and, marginally, in the surrounding area, we found that Hudson Valley publications severely under represent certain communities. This neglect became apparent when we walked into Kingston’s ‘Quick Check’ mart and shared a copy of our second issue with the clerk, Shakia, who we had befriended a few weeks prior. She expressed how happy she was that we were pursuing a project like this because -- being a local of the area -- she had never come across a publication she felt represented her as a person of color. It reinforced the urgency of Oblivion’s mission: Giving A Voice To Those Who Aren’t Heard.

While there are existing communities online that strive to speak on behalf of suppressed voices, there is an incontestable lacking of a consistent and definitive platform for people of color. We would like Oblivion to serve as that platform, especially for neglected communities such as those that can be found within the Hudson Valley. These communities extend past the North American continent, reaching to the most remote villages of Tibet, Bangladesh, Kuwait, or Palestine. We want Oblivion to foster a community in which everyone has the opportunity to enlighten themselves through our content, as well as to educate others with their own contributions.  


Oblivion Magazine currently has 20 members who represent diversity in interest, thought, and passions. Team members are accepted based on past experience, relevant skills, and application. Our members are divided into sub teams: social media, creative and outreach, writing, editing, graphic design, and budget and marketing. Every Saturday, the Oblivion team meet at Bard College to discuss about the progress in every sub team, as well as how to improve our print and online publication.

The large diversity of expertise represented in our Oblivion team has contributed to publishing four successful issues since February 2016. Our members have also been extremely active in social outreach to increase audience and consistent contributors beyond Bard’s campus. In fact, most of our past submissions have come from countries like India, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Puerto Rico, Morocco, and Australia. Submissions reflect the powerful stories of people of color that are often left out of the bigger picture. The publication has not only contributed in fostering a new sense of awareness on race but also led to active participation in events on campus such as performance showcases reflecting on empowering stories by people of color. We want to expand these events on shedding light on complex racial issues and experiences that are not often told through media into surrounding communities. We have at least 50 subscribers to our website and 720 likes on our facebook page since the launch of Oblivion in February. We hope to increase our global audience so people can stay connected with a consistent online platform.

 
 
Our publication’s goal is to establish a space for people of all backgrounds to engage with uncomfortable dialogues on matters of racial injustice, discrimination, and personal responsibility. That is why we wish to build a strong community starting with the Hudson Valley to unite and empower people of color. We want to collaborate with different organizations such as Brothers at Bard and Building Up Hudson to work with youth through various educational events such as workshops to provide resources in turning experience into words and words into action. Not only will these events create a larger Oblivion community, but they will strengthen camaraderie between different racially marginalized groups.

 

As this is a fairly new publication, its continuation is dependent on your support and donation. Donations will help cover printing costs, website management, events, graphic design support, fundraising, advertising, and compensation for contributors featured in our print publication. The success of this publication will allow Oblivion to reach the Hudson Valley as its only representation of people of color.

Budget: $5,000 total

  • 2,000 will go towards printing costs printing costs
  • 3,000 will cover 5 events where we can pass out Oblivion issues, invite guest speakers to talk on issues in the PoC community, and provide refreshments

Contact Oblivion directly for further information

Oblivion magazine: bardpoc@gmail.com  

Sabrina Sultana, project leader: ss7161@bard.edu

Bianka Bell, project leader: bbell@bard.edu