The Bare Life Review is now accepting submissions for its fourth print volume, a special climate-themed issue. For this volume of the journal only, we are expanding our eligibility criteria to include non-immigrant artists who have experienced displacement as a result of climate disaster.
All immigrant and asylum-seeking writers who meet our usual criteria remain eligible to contribute to Volume 4.
From the founders:
The Bare Life Review’s eligibility criteria have, from its inception, lain at the heart of the journal’s mission to champion literary arts by refugees in a way that is both artistically and ethically rigorous. For that reason, any departure—however temporary—from those criteria demands explanation. Here is why our climate issue represents a special case:
TBLR is concerned with human migration writ large, but especially with that necessitated by violence, poverty, or political disenfranchisement. The distinction of such displacement (diplomatically, socially, and, often, artistically) is self-evident. Discussions of refuge and asylum, however, too often betray a particular brand of Western parochialism, one which imagines displacement as a problem unique (and, indeed, endemic) to the developing (specifically, non-white) world, to be solved by the beneficence of the privileged. Part of our project has been to challenge this notion.
The climate crisis explodes those false pretensions like little else, by posing a threat from which no one—no matter how wealthy or stably governed—can long be protected. In the United States alone, hundreds of thousands—perhaps millions—remain displaced by climate disaster: consider the complete destruction in 2018 of Paradise, California, or the halving of the population of New Orleans in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. These mass displacements share more with those occurring abroad than is commonly acknowledged.
Examining climate, then, provides an opportunity to shift from—or indeed to pass through—one’s habitual lens and to recognize the universal precarity of human existence, and migration as a defining condition of our shared history.
We look forward, as ever, to reading your work!
David, Ellen, and Nyuol
Founders, The Bare Life Review