Since arriving on campus last fall, Matt Rosen ’21 and Anna Gaw ’21 have noticed the conspicuous lack of space for marginalized voices on campus. They decided to create a new publication to fill this void, “Nepantla: Voices at the Margins.”
“There’s not a current publication on campus which adequately addresses the critical perspectives of marginalized people in a range of disciplines,” said Rosen. “We didn’t want it [Nepantla] to just be journalistic or academic or philosophical or political [or] just artwork. We wanted it to be the synthesis of all those things.”
In creating Nepantla, Rosen and Gaw hope to expand and deepen current conversations surrounding oppression on campus and elevate the voices of marginalized students impacted by said oppression.
“I think that CC does a lot of things to create an accepting environment, and it is apparent that it is making efforts to foster diversity and have an intolerance for hate,” said Gaw. “I think with Nepantla, we want to address any gaps and dive even deeper to make all voices heard and give anyone a platform to express their thoughts and opinions.”
In addition to a diverse range of contributors across all marginalized identities, Rosen and Gaw are also seeking a diverse range of submissions.
“Even here at CC where there’s not that much diversity always, the student body’s complicated, and so we want Nepantla to be complicated,” Rosen said. “Some people … find a way to have their voices heard … through art, some people through poetry, some through more academic writing, through photography, fashion design. Whatever it is, we want that kind of preferred method to be heard.”
When asked about the intended purpose behind Nepantla, Rosen said he would situate the journal somewhere “between catharsis and resistance.”
“I don’t think the aim of the journal is to educate. I think there are other publications and groups who do a good job of that,” Rosen said. “Our aim is to provide a platform for people who feel marginalized, so there is an element of catharsis and therapy in having your voices heard while at the same time pushing back against and resisting whatever force is perpetuating that marginalization.”
Finally, the journal name comes from the Uto-Aztecan indigenous language Nahuatl and means the ‘space between’ or a ‘border land.’ In using this word, Rosen and Gaw hope to convey the complexity that characterizes all of our identities.
“[The name] suggests that all of our identities in some sense are borderland identities,” Rosen said. “We’re all sort of border dwellers between worlds, and that there can be a certain pride or reveling in that we’re all mixed and complicated.”