Introduction – To Boldly Go
Last December two Cassandra Voices editors gathered for a think-in with an external advisor. What followed was, for us, an excruciating exercise defining the mission of our publication. Formulating a so-called ‘elevator pitch’ does not come easily to a writer and a photographer more accustomed to asking the questions and framing subjects. Now we were the ones squirming in the crosshairs. After mild coaxing, followed by sterner rebukes, the existential crisis lifted sufficiently for us to work out: we provide a home for independent voices to inspire new thinking.
So what have these highfalutin words to do with the title of Cassandra Voices, featuring a legendary Trojan prophetess renowned for not having her warnings heeded? Well, we believe this space – in print and online – offers autonomous spirits an opportunity to give an unvarnished account of reality, subject to claims being properly referenced or corroborated. As such, this is a determination of relevant facts – often obscured in a mainstream media beholden to vested interests – on which moral evaluation depends. For example, unless we are exposed to the wretched of the earth – such as those confined to refugee camps within Europe’s borders – we are unlikely to consider what is happening to them to be wrong. Out of sight, out of mind.
Prompted in particular by Fellipe Lopes’s self-determined journey to Camp Mória on the island of Lesbos island in Greece, we chose the theme of Displacement for this the third edition. It also encompasses the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis, beginning in 2007, which, in particular, has generated an unresolved housing crisis and widened existing health inequalities. Moreover, we are in the midst of an Internet Revolution profoundly altering the careers of musicians and writers, while social media corrodes our personal space in an age of ‘Surveillance Capitalism’. And we do not forget the environmental challenges of an accelerating and unprecedented Extinction and Climate Crisis, and now a sinister global pandemic.
Finally, we remain committed to conveying a variety of forms through our publication – including photography, poetry, fiction, cultural criticism as well as more conventional journalism – bringing many lenses to understand the challenges we face.
With contributions from: Ben Keatinge, Duncan Mclean, Caoimhe Butterly, Samuel McManus, Navlika Ramjee, David Langwallner, Sarah Hamilton, Bob Quinn, Mark Burrows, Fellipe Lopes, Vincent Dermody, Paul Gilgunn, Daniele Idini, Kevin Higgins, Daniel Wade, Stephen Mc Randal, Ilsa Monique Carter, Alberto Moreno, Alberto Marcos and Bartholomew Ryan.
Design and Layout: Distinctive Repetition.
The picture on the left, of the newly built Covid-19 Test facility on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin, was taken by Daniele Idini on March 23rd, 2020. The photograph on the cover is from reportage by Fellipe Lopes on the Mória refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece in January, 2020. Graphic design and layout is by Distinctive Repetition.