Call for Submissions 9: Health and Illness
“Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick.”– Susan Sontag in “Illness as Metaphor”
For its ninth issue, Rusted Radishes seeks works that delve into the theme of “Health and Illness.” We want work that openly addresses the physical and mental processes, experiences, and human condition of illness as well as perspectives on what it means to be “healthy.” This is an opportunity to explore the interiority of what can be the most challenging and fraught aspects of human nature.
Some questions to consider: What are the aesthetic and poetic forms that can be marshalled to apprehend health or illness? How can aesthetic and poetic expression disarm the monolithic language of medical corporations? How does the notion of the abject–as it materializes in blood, guts, and bodily fluids–render the alphabet somatic? How is illness intertwined with loss — of memory, limbs, the other? How can typical images of health and illness be challenged artistically? If humans have dual citizenship in the “kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick,” what are the laws that govern these kingdoms, who makes them, and what responsibility do we have within them?
Today as we have all entered the kingdom of the sick as a pandemic has swept us into our homes and made us fear for our lives, what mental shifts have you made? What can you imagine post-coronavirus? What do you miss from your previous life, the one you might be grieving now? What is life and human nature like now, in the midst of a pandemic? And how do you experience the notion of social-distancing, the fear of others and their bodies?
We seek work that attempts to defragment what it means to be healthy or ill today in the context of failing economies, global medicine and big pharmaceutical companies, capitalism, health fads, a global culture of sharing, the relative silence of patients in a world of doctors. We are looking for formal experiments in aesthetics and poetics that apprehend health and illness as structures of being.