We started our journey as an international art and literary magazine in 2010, based in Pakistan, seeking to unite creators under a single umbrella, regardless of where you were in the world.
Now that we're back, none of that's changed... except for one teeny, tiny thing. In a world that's still healing from the mass carnage of the last few years, we hope to provide you, our hurting artists and writers, with a safe space. More than that, we know intimately the unique challenges women and marginalized voices face in today's world, and we're here for you.
In fact, the only reason we're back at all is because of you. Does that make us a little idealistic? Sure, but we're betting that you are, too. So, submit already... and set the world on fire.
Art is the fastening of hope with disillusionment – the coexistence of contrasts. TMS is a borderless space, where borderless does not refer to the absence of borders, but rather the traversing of them. Borders are permeable; they remind me always of how I can reach across them, and find on the other side something closer to me than my own self.
For me, art is a way of processing and understanding the world, like plotting a map to see the bigger picture. Simultaneously, it is the process of looking at life up close so you can see all the little cracks and bumps. It is light and shadow, and all the spaces in between. By charting the world through art, I imagine we document our realities, for one another right now, and perhaps for the people who will come after us. For me, editing a magazine is an opportunity to curate life through the eyes of different people.
Creating meaningful art is a process that forces us to slow down and turn our attention to the task at hand, as opposed to how we generally rush through our workdays. It makes us linger, look back, shift angles, and reassess. Always, there is that exhilarating sense of relief and anxiety when you send your work out into the world for others to see. I am hopeful that we will give creatives the necessary space they need in these uncertain times (is there any other kind of time?) to produce work that can both rupture the expectations of "good" art and also help them understand the world so that together, we can continue to change it.
I read a poem once called (love song, with two goldfish) by Grace Chua. In it, two goldfish are confined to a limited existence in a goldfish bowl. The male fish is “bowled over” by the female fish, but his desire is not reciprocated as she longs for a “life beyond the bowl”. In more than one instance, I’ve felt like our female fish, looking outside from within my South Bombay bubble. There’s nothing wrong with shelter, privilege, or belonging, but I’d be lying if I said I’d never wondered about a “beyond”. Now more than ever, away from home as a student in London, it is like I’m meeting the world for the very first time. I’m learning how people discover their culture and other cultures. I’m memorizing the infinite paths people take that lead to a single destination. I’m realizing that while I was running a race that everyone seemed to be running, somewhere across the world someone chose to live differently and they’re still here like the rest of us and they’re happy.
I was drawn to TMS by its collection of Pacific Islander poetry on climate change. It was on a day I felt cranky about all my pending work and reading it showed me the proportions of my problem. I also couldn’t help but smile at the beauty of its lyrical writing, and suddenly I wasn’t so cranky anymore. That’s all I hope we can achieve with TMS. To highlight a wider world that helps our readers put things in perspective.
Safe spaces are hard to find. Safe spaces online dedicated to women and other marginalized voices? That's practically unheard of. This new iteration of The Missing Slate hopes to change that, by paying the good deeds of those who went before us, forward. It won't be easy. Remaking a world never is. But I am optimistic that the magazine returns at a time when the world needs it. And when it, too, is ready for the world it inhabits.
As the Editor-in-Chief, my hope is that TMS will be a home for many of you, and give your creations the platform and spotlight they deserve.
In a world where borders are making a comeback, breaking them feels evolutionary. In fact, forging a new path in the creative arts by burning the barriers that separate the art forms is just another way of burning the world, as we know it, down... Brick by brick, right?