We’re living through a time when the fragility and impermeability of our bodies has never been more apparent. In this issue, we reflect on not only our vulnerability, but also the immense power our bodies possess. The content of this issue was created during a moment in history when physical closeness has become taboo, daunting, and legally-restricted. We, as a team, have created a project about physicality without ever being in the same room together a feat that has been challenging, to say the least. When stepping into our new roles as leaders of GUM in late summer, neither of us had anticipated the lack of progress our society has made. And yet, despite this, we have managed to assemble a team and a body of work we are immensely proud of. One which brings light to the important issues affecting our culture that rarely receive the attention they deserve.
GUM is a platform where every voice is heard, and we remain committed to this promise at every turn. The areas explored in this month’s issue range from the dehumanisation of migrant bodies to fatphobia in the LGBTQ+ community. In our editorial shoot, entitled Bodies of Art, we parody the romanticisation of eurocentric and patriarchal history in traditional artwork, and reinsert queer and POC bodies into a history they have been erased from. In the first series of our new podcast, Safe Space (which functions as a companion to this issue), we explore issues such as activism and self-identity as a student of colour; the normalisation of transphobia in British media; and the epidemic of sexual violence on university campuses. Through all of this, we aim to amplify the voices that our culture typically ignores. We hope that we have achieved this through our work as a team as distanced as we are united – to be a platform for every community.
With love, Graham & Lara
*In the print edition of Reflections on Acne, the artwork is incorrectly credited to Ella Ottersbach-Edwards. The artist of this work is Dana Cruickshank, and has been corrected in this online version of BODY.