Friday, April 21, 2017

Magazine of the Moment | Pencilled In

Today, I present to you a stunning gem of a literary and art magazine unlike any other I have so far come across. Pencilled In is a new publication which contains contributions solely from Asian-Australians. It is a publication born out of admirable passion and determination to have the work of talented young writers and artists seen. 

I actually only discovered this magazine as a good friend of mine has one of her pieces published in the first issue and that friend is one of many from my high school and primary school days who is Asian. It's funny, because growing up, I thought nothing of this, compared to what my parents or grandparents may have thought and perhaps still think. And yet, it has only been the last few years that I have become aware of the considerable absence of the 'Asian Australian' voice in contemporary Australian arts and culture. It never crossed my mind, as a young girl, to consider things such as the Asian Australian experience, despite being as close as I was to my friends. Perhaps this is because there was such a lack of representation or absence of discussion. I have heard peers talk about how they feel so distinctly and inherently different from other Australians, despite living here for most of their lives. 

Hearing this, knowing this, saddened me. While I obviously cannot speak on behalf of Asian Australians, it is a reminder of just how much representation matters and why this magazine specifically is so powerful. 

From the magazine's website: 'Asian Australian artists are underrepresented in the Australian arts industry, and have been for a considerable amount of time. Young artists, especially, are feeling the pinch more than ever, and opportunities can be difficult to come by. Many young Asian Australians are discouraged from entering the arts industry by their parents or other family members – and instead, embark on careers in other areas. Even so, we all have that drawing hidden away in a sketchbook, an outline of a story lurking in the back of our heads, or an unfinished poem we never got the chance to revisit. Bits and pieces of art that are eternally pencilled in. Pencilled In, then, seeks to highlight and showcase art by young Asian Australians. It is a chance for emerging artists to have their work published, and hopes to provide a platform for such artists to forge meaningful relationships.'

The pieces in the first issue, including poetry, prose, photography and illustration, are all phenomenal explorations and reflections of the theme 'fear and hope'. Within its pages are the extraordinary ideas and stories by young creatives who deserve to be celebrated. It is exciting to know that such a magazine is paving the way for more diversity in publishing and I cannot wait to read more.

Issue 1 of Pencilled In can be bought here

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