“When the smugglers told me I will be travelling to Indonesia a few hours before I arrived to Khartoum airport, the word ألأرخبيل archipelago jumped to my mind.
Geography lessons in high school emerged on my view. I thought they were taking me to the edge of the globe, not only in the east, but the east itself. I understood that, in this archipelago, I will get back my life and my dreams, and I did. It’s become the heart of my world.
This archipelago is my lifeline, it’s as great as my ambition, it’s as unique as my destination. I suggested the archipelago as a name for our magazine for it will be the icon that illuminates my road to free my thoughts and achieve my dreams to be a writer. I picked this name for it can unify us as writers with different goals, countries, attitudes, as it unifies its islands.” Mahdi Zain, Darfurian writer.
“Archipelagos are ways of thinking spatially about entangled relationships. They show relationships across islands, reorganising space away from static divisions like nation and continent, and instead creating fluid networks of interconnection.
Archipelagos unravel the fictions that construct contemporary borders. To give just one common example, the longstanding trade along the Malay Road between Yolngu people in Northern Australia and Makassans in Indonesia reveals how the present day separation of Australia and Asia that animates the exclusion of refugees forms part of the same colonial violence that continues to exert itself on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
I had just spent the last year studying islands and archipelagic thinking. When I asked our writers to name our group and Mahdi Zain suggested archipelago, I knew we had our name.
Our writers collective is itself a series of archipelagos. Our intention is to bring you into relationship with the archipelago, forging proactive connections together across islands and space.” Kieren Kresevic Salazar