A letter from the Editors

Dear Reader,

We start this year’s spring issue with a question: ‘how are you doing?’. It’s a loaded one, and one that many of us don’t feel up to answering truthfully these days. The naive optimism of last spring is a fading memory. The annual promise of renewal this season brings feels somewhat dampened. You’ve probably been better, and to be honest, so have we. At the beginning of our time as Editors-in-Chief at GUM, we anticipated our spring issue would be released into an almost-normal world. One that had been ‘revived’, you might say.

As we reach the one year mark of an era defined by loss, hardship, and mindnumbing governmental fuckups, REVIVAL serves as a moment of release. It is the sickly sweet, emotionally charged aftermath of pent-up rage, and an antidote to mundanity. The articles in this issue ring with an intense passion and a refusal to be silent in the face of suffering. While engaging with timely issues like the inadequacy of current mental health advocacy and the tumultuous political situation in Rojava, REVIVAL also delights in colourful, sensitive journalism concerning modern Witchcraft, the power of Camp aesthetics, and South American folklore. Even REVIVAL’s most colourful, farcical moments inject their absurdity with a sharp political bite. Though our culture may not yet be revived from its sickness (viral or otherwise), what we have borne witness to over the last year is a growing intolerance for our entrenched societal injustices. It is precisely this renewed activist rigour which our spring issue exemplifies.

Unfortunately the local independent cafes and university buildings which stock GUM in its physical form remain closed, and so our spring issue marks a temporary shift to the realm of online-only. Without the financial limitations that come with printing, REVIVAL takes full advantage of its new digital home. The result is a collection of personal essays unconfined by insensitive word limits; in-depth investigations into internal politics; and an expansive collection of illustrations, artwork, and poetry.

The intention for REVIVAL from the beginning was to focus on the restorative powers of healing – be that in the spiritual, environmental, or cultural sense. In a time of relentless uncertainty and ever-increasing frenzy, the pieces in this issue encourage stillness: a chance to learn, to contemplate, and, most importantly, to heal.

Complete with one terrifying human-sized bunny and only a few mentions of the C-word, we hope REVIVAL provides you with a much needed moment for personal introspection. Enjoy.

With love, Graham Peacock (he/him) and Lara Delmage (she/her).