In Times of Crisis


History Is Always Being Made

History is always being made, but times of crisis make us feel that we are living history. It is time to pay attention. The world is changing fast. It will be a different world on the other side of this event. You will be a different person. What that world will be and who you will be in it is being written now. The outbreak of COVID-19 is an opportunity to consider the role of art and artists in times of crisis. How do we serve our neighbors? How do we support other artists? How do we connect to each other? How do we maintain and expand networks during times of self-isolation? What stories do we need to tell? What stories need to be heard? 

The story I have been telling the last few years has been one about getting together. World Collage Day and Kolaj Fest New Orleans are a manifestation of the value in being in the same room with people. I find myself in this moment needing to tell different stories, so I went back to some older writing to see what is still relevant. The editorial in Kolaj #19 speaks against the “Myth of the Lonely Artist” and points out how collage artists are natural networkers. The editorial in Kolaj #22 speaks to this moment in which we find ourselves: “We live in little boxes, tiny hand-held devices, or sometimes machines that sit on tables….We ship electric words to chimeras…We type in the hope of ending our isolation, of breaking the tether of loneliness, of making a connection.” In writing these editorials, I was imploring artists to get out of their bubbles and connect with one another, live and in the flesh. 

We now find ourselves needing to do the opposite, to keep our social distance, but I still believe in the heart of these two editorials: That even from our bubbles we need to connect and work together. Community, collectivism, sharing, exchange, mutual support, and caring for one another is even more important now. Reach out. Get involved. Find those ways to be there for someone else. Call for help when you need it. Together, we got this. —Ric Kasini Kadour, Editor, Kolaj Magazine

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