I didn’t expect to be making the magazine you are holding, which is why earlier editorials this year read like farewells, but this is definitely it: my twentieth, and final, edition.
People have asked why I would leave a magazine that is so politically and culturally necessary and, therefore, satisfying.
To ensure a magazine stays vibrant, it’s essential to make room for new editors and writers. As for the satisfying nature of the work here, it is undeniably true. But workplaces, and political and literary projects, are made of people who motivate and challenge you.
Last night I attended a talk by former editor Jeff Sparrow, about his new book on fascism and the Christchurch massacre. ‘What can we do about the intense alienation and isolation that many people seem to feel today?’ someone in the audience asked.
It seems obvious, but workplaces are part of the answer (and why the era of freelancing and the gig economy has been disastrous for unionism and collectivism more generally). These spaces are inherently social: on many levels, work is about the relationships you form and the people you work with; who help to ease the intense loneliness that we can feel, the kind described by Rachael McGuirk and Hannah McCann in this edition.
It is also true that there are not many workplaces like Overland, where one can start as an intern and progress to editor. The democratic traditions and collaborative nature – where everyone in the office has control over how each edition looks and reads – is unique.
Workplaces are always about the people. I would like to thank: Alex Skutenko, the backbone of Overland for more than two decades; copyediting genius John Marnell; the aforementioned Jeff Sparrow; inspired fiction and poetry editors Peter Minter, Jennifer Mills, Toby Fitch and Claire Corbett; designers Brent Stegeman and Lynley Eavis, the nimble-fingered Sam Wallman, and so many other talented artists!; the brilliant and committed interns and volunteers; Giovanni Tiso, one of my favourite writers who I now call a colleague; and Rachael McGuirk, who always meets every challenge.
I look forward to reading future editions edited by Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk, and seeing the new directions they take Overland.
Yours in solidarity,
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