Borders and Boundaries Issue Out Now!
Illustration: Beena Mistry
First, I’d like to start off by stating the obvious: this issue is late—and, not a couple days or weeks late. Don’t worry—we’re back on track and excited to share some amazing issues this year (and trust me, you won’t want to miss a very special youth-written, fifteenth-anniversary special edition!).
Our lateness has less to do with our commitment to this project, or our capacity to organize or follow deadlines, and everything to do with boundaries, one of the central themes of this issue. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on volunteer organizing and the ways political and social justice work often require us to martyr ourselves for the things that we care about and how it can encroach on the personal boundaries we might set for ourselves—our need for sleep, or time to support our friends or time to heal when things get really rough.
And it’s been a rough time lately—Shameless HQ is in Ontario, and our communities have been heavily impacted by an austerity-driven provincial government (which has led to funding cuts that impact our work directly, effectively immediately). On a more personal level, we’ve needed to hold space for big feelings: anxiety, grief, fear, hopelessness and anger.
One of the things that working for Shameless has taught me is that before we can show up for our amazing readership, we need to be able to show up for ourselves and for each other. It’s like making sure your oxygen mask is securely fastened on the airplane before breathlessly trying to put one on your neighbour. And when I think about Shameless, this culture of care is what I’m the proudest of: our capacity to set and hold our boundaries—a radical act in a culture where those of us who are marginalized are expected to just push through.
Moving on to this issue, we are proud to expand on a theme that our brilliant Youth Advisory Board has imagined: exploring the nuances of and relationships between political borders and personal boundaries. In this issue, we explore the lines that we draw and are drawn for us. We challenge the borders that result in immigration detention (p. 6), restrict movement (p. 18), and complicate what we can and can’t eat (p. 38), and we explore the radical ways we are redefining our personal boundaries with our friends (p. 12), identity (p. 24), and time (p.28).
We do this in the pages of this publication, and I’m also proud that we are able to do it in the practice of making it as well.