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  • Writer's pictureClaire Shang

Letter from the Editor, March 2022

This is my favorite time of year—just before spring unfurls in full, when each new day of sunlight still feels like a gift to be marveled at and savored and accepted, tentatively. Soon, when spring is solidified, we might get lost in the world’s new backdrop; it’s better that the cast of winter remains for a little. That we’re decidedly in between things allows us to see how the spectacle of spring forms, to find the processes explaining the sublime.

Illustration by Jace Steiner

Our March issue is all about performance, which is to say this very balance of the organic and the orchestrated. For the most part, our writers, finding themselves in the presence of art and artists, take these pages to celebrate, to reveal and revel. It’s an exercise in ekphrasis, which is itself an exercise in attention.

Our four long-form Conversations are each about how art is presented and interacted with: Victor Omojola talks neorealism with director Arie Esiri; Bella DeVaan and art history professor Anne Higonnet walk through the Met Costume Institute exhibit; Cole Cahill speaks to Daniel Alarcón about storytelling and Spanish-language podcasting; and Muni Suleiman learns from Bayeté Ross Smith what it means to be Columbia Law School’s artist-in-residence. In our Campus Characters column, you’ll find Columbia seniors with similar devotion: to poetry, for Morgan Levine, and playwriting and production, for Harris Solomon.

Other pieces praise the possibility of performance. Muni Suleiman considers deeply both what diversity in theater looks like and how it might be achieved, starting with an examination of our campus ensembles. Kelsey Kitzke takes us into Barnard’s Movement Lab, where the ability to move becomes artistic inspiration and source material. And in our third installment of “Anywhere But Here,” our Cut-inspired column, illustrator-turned-writer Hart Hallos brings us to the Q to watch his suitemate in the prelims of New York’s largest drag competition.

And even for the haters of art lurking among our readership, I’d urge you to stay with us. After all, we haven’t forgotten about the important things in life. Our print issue opens with our Blue Notes, in which six writers tell us who they are through their cocktails of choice; it closes with Chloë Gottlieb and Daniel Seizer who ponder an age-old question: “Am I drunk enough?” Cy Gilman—vis-à-vis our trusty mascot, Verily Veritas—takes us through what must be only a lightly fictionalized frat rush. And if you find yourself scrambling over spring break plans, our in-house sage Michael Colton has your back (somewhat).

With all this talk about performance, I’d be remiss if I didn’t briefly implicate myself. New to the job, I’m finding the position of editor-in-chief to be its own performance, chiefly one of competence. But it’s my favorite time of year, when things that will imminently become settled fact still feel precarious and precious in their newness. I’m marveling in and savoring every moment in this role and every piece in this magazine, and I hope you’ll join me in the latter now.


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