Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Call for submissions: critical perspectives on travel and privilege

Filed By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore | May 24, 2007 12:16 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: politics, travel, writing a book

My friend Bruin Christopher Runyan is editing this brilliant anthology -- I thought I'd post the call for submissions:

Less Than Settled: Critical Perspectives on Travel and Privilege **CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS*

What compromises do activists, organizers, and those
actively pursuing social justice make when traveling
internationally? How does the experience of living in
a global super power, either "legally" or "not",
affect our reception in countries that make up the
global south? How do we own (or not own) our
privilege, be it race, class, age, gender, sexuality,
citizenship, body type, or ability in another cultural
context? What happens when our identities are
anything but simple and we experience oppression
simultaneously with privilege? What does contemporary
colonialism look like and what is our responsibility
to its existence and perpetuation while traveling?
What does traveling respectfully, accountably or even
radically look like? Is it possible?

This anthology seeks to address critical questions around western privilege and international travel. Specifically, bruin wants to investigate how activists, organizers, critical thinkers, radicals, progressives, and subversives bring or don't bring their politics with them when they travel to the third world/two-thirds world/global south. bruin wants to hear specifically from those who have decided not to travel and from those who travel but feel less than settled about it. How do folks negotiate steadfast beliefs about social justice and oppression when in different cultural contexts that don't share such beliefs or share them differently? What is open to compromise and what will never be compromised?

Other questions hoping to be explored include:
critiques of eco-tourism or "activism"-based tourisms,
critical experiences around international summit
hopping and "solidarity work," especially in the
global south, participation in other countries'
revolutionary movements, the romanticization of such
movements, thoughts about sexual opportunism,
associating with other travelers/responsibilities
around other travelers, and thoughts and experiences
of ex-patriots of those who struggle with desires to
become ex-patriots. What do our projects with other
international activists look like? How does our
privilege and power enter into our cross-border
romantic relationships as well as cross-border
friendships? How does this affect our work at home?
How do we travel to countries that we're from or our
family of origin is from, where the distance is less
and potentially more at the same time?

bruin is less interested in political theory and
well-worded rants and more interested in the
complication and contradiction of your lived
experiences. Please be honest. Let's create a space
for our mistakes and visions. Less Than Settled hopes
to emerge as a resource and the continuation of a
conversation that is critical to better living what
we're hoping to create.

bruin christopher runyan is a white, genderqueer,
trans, urban queerbo and organizer in seattle,
washington who thinks too much. He is committed to
having conversations that make him uncomfortable but
further the creation of fabulous, critical,
sustainable, and transformative communities. He has
traveled in latin america, southern africa, and
throughout north america and feels way complicated
about it.

*Please submit non-fiction essays up to 6,000 words.
Essays must be typewritten, double-spaced and
submitted via mail. Please include a short bio.
*Send essays to:
Less Than Settled
c/o bruin christopher runyan
1643 south king street
seattle, washington 98144
*Feel free to contact bruin with questions at
*Deadline for submissions is: (June 30, 2007), but
really, the sooner
the better.

Mattilda blogs at

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