File spoon-archives/seminar-12.archive/transl-asia_1997/seminar-12.9706, message 2

Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 16:38:19 +0100
Subject: Samar mag

Check out:

SAMAR (South Asian Magazine for Action
                         and Reflection)

SAMAR (South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection) was launched in 1992 as a magazine of
political and cultural debate with a South Asian focus. It is published twice a year by an editorial
collective based in New York. We choose the term "South Asian" because we feel i
t is important to
draw attention to the fact that South Asians are a group of people with a shared history, and that this
history provides a common basis for understanding our place in the contemporary world. While
many other South Asian publications are based on differences of region, religion and nationality
within South Asia, we have chosen to base ours on a South Asian collectivity that is now spread out
across the globe. 

SAMAR was founded by a group of community organizers, writers, teachers and scholars. It began
with a letter that was sent out to a few hundred South Asians across the United States, which voiced
the need for an alternative publication in an overall climate that was politically conservative and in a
community that was politically unorganized compared to other immigrant communities. The letter also
asked for donations that would help bring out the first issue. The support that we received in the form
of donations, letters and phone calls convinced us that the time for SAMAR had indeed arrived.
Although wealthy, conservative, and primarily male voices have dominated as spokespersons for our
communities in North America, it was clear from this response that there was room for an accessible,
intelligent and hard-hitting magazine focusing on left and progressive perspectives. The legacy of
community backing is important to us, and we are strongly committed to the goal of developing
SAMAR as a genuinely community-based publication. 

SAMAR aims to foster debate and discussion within the community. The emphasis is on clear and
analytic writing: SAMAR prefers to avoid the superficial news-byte and entertainment focus of many
magazines, or at the other extreme, the inaccessible language of most academic journals. Although
we greatly admire several South Asian publications that are centered around a particular concern --
for example, magazines dealing with gay and lesbian issues, or sustainable development, or the issues
faced by taxi drivers in New York City -- SAMAR has a multi-issue agenda and an interest in
exploring the linkages between various political struggles. SAMAR was conceived as an activist
magazine, and has been deeply responsive to individual activists and community organizations which
have challenged injustice stemming from prejudices about race, religion, class, caste, gender and
sexual orientation. As an ethnic publication in the United States, SAMAR backs its commitment to
the building of solidarities amongst people of color by providing coverage to such alliances - the
forum section of the Summer 1995 issue is a case in point. 

At the same time as it provides space for quick-witted and critical writing on South Asian American
issues, SAMAR also maintains a distinct Third World focus. The magazine links traditions of struggle
in South Asia with those in South Asian communities here. SAMAR is vigilant and creative about
locating important movements and organizing strategies in South Asia and North America, and
facilitating communication between the two. 

A significant proportion of South Asian Americans were born in the West or have lived here most of
their lives. It is a source of some frustration to some in this group that most South Asian cultural
activities in North America are dominated by the religious right in the immigrant community. SAMAR
is addressed to this generation as we attempt together to carve out an alternative space for South
Asian arts and culture. SAMAR is committed to providing a forum for the sensibility and the
particular forms of creativity associated with South Asian populations, as also for the variety of
hybrid cultural forms that have exploded throughout the South Asian diaspora. Rooted in a world
region known for its history of partition and conflict, we recognize a particular mission to facilitate
creative communication through the publication of translated work from various South Asian
languages, and through the recovery and display of the pluralism that often underlies both our artistic
traditions and the work of present-day South Asian writers, artists and performers. 

Each issue of SAMAR carries a core set of articles on a particular theme (the "forum"), as well as
feature articles, short fiction, poetry, art, profiles, reviews and interviews. Past forum titles include:
'Culture away from "Home"', 'Communalism at "Home" and "Abroad"', 'The Packaging of South
Asia: the Politics behind Contemporary Global Perceptions of South Asia', 'Class Encounters of the
South Asian Kind', 'Black or White or What?', and 'South Asians and the Politics of Science and
Technology'. The Winter 1997 issue carries a forum called 'Sex, Lives and South Asians'. For
SAMAR's fifth birthday in 1997-98, we are planning a paired set of forum topics: the Summer issue
will focus on activism and organizing by South Asians in North America, while the Winter issue will
carry articles on conservative South Asian movements in North America. The former will build on a
panel organized by SAMAR at Desh Pardesh in June 1996, called 'Activism by Any Means
Necessary'. We expect that both these issues will make for interesting reading for politically
concerned South Asians in the United States and Canada. 

Subscription information Please address your check to SAMAR and mail it to SAMAR, P.O. Box
1349, Ansonia Station, New York NY 10023. 

For individuals, a one-year subscription costs US $8 (US $4 per copy). For two years or more, a
subscription costs US $3.50 per copy, i.e. a two-year subscription costs US $14, a three-year
subscription costs US $21, and so on. 

Institutional subscriptions cost US $32 per year. 

Foreign subscribers: please add US $5 per year for mailing costs; US $10 if you prefer airmail. 

John Hutnyk
mail: Dept Social Anthropology
University of Manchester
M13 9PL, UK
tel: +44 (0)161 248 8967

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