Seventh Wave Editorial Residency Cover Letter (2020)

As a queer, Muslim Indonesian in a post-colonial world shaped by what is and what will be lost, what is there left to celebrate? I am overwhelmed by the loss of my people, whether that be the deaths of Muslims around the world due to xenophobia and Islamophobia; the deaths of Indonesians as a result of post-colonialism, state violence, environmental racism, and overall media negligence due to the world prioritizing white people over my own; the mortality of friends, lovers, and family from economic disparity and gentrification in New York City; the loss of my body that could’ve been my body if I didn’t undergo female genital mutilation. I know that one day, my time will be up too. Rather than stay in mourning, however, I am trying to turn these wakes, both current and future, into the biggest celebrations of my life. What’s lost is lost, sure, but what remains are after-images of what I’ve known and the ripple effects of what I don’t know. If memory lives on, so can me and my own, therefore death is not a deadline. Rather, a continuum we constantly move to and from, and dance, cry, laugh, and so much more along the way. Joining the Editorial Residency will allow me to expand on my grief, and help me delve further into the sources of my losses, both personal and systemic. I hope to learn and find more effective ways to expand my work beyond my personal experiences, and learn hands-on approaches to using my writing to further uplift my communities besides just raising awareness.

I have attended a workshop with Winter Tangerine at Poets House and several online workshops offered by Not A Cult Media. I have also taken teaching artist workshops during my Federal Hall Fellowship.

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