OF NOTE Magazine is an award-winning nonprofit arts journalism initiative and digital magazine where art meets activism, founded by Grace Aneiza Ali. Since 2012, OF NOTE has focused on how global artists use the arts as tools for social change. Its online content and diverse cohort of artists and writers exploring arts activism is free to readers, free of advertising, and free of subscriptions.
The Gun Issue
The artists engage the gun as an art object in their artistic practices, confronting the infiltration of guns in our day-to-day lives, the gratuitous violence meted out by femme fatales in television, the marketing of real pink guns to girls, the faulty narratives equating gun possession with women’s empowerment, and the eroticization of the gun-wielding modern woman as the epitome of desire.
The Unsheltered Issue
There are many ways of living without a stable and/or safe home. We feature a range of artists-activists: those who after having experienced being unsheltered turn their personal narratives into artistic interventions, those who are working with artists to alleviate the issue of housing insecurity, and those who use art as a mode of therapy and community engagement.
The Water Issue
These artists see their roles as ones that go beyond raising awareness of global water crises and the lack of access to clean water to creating work that informs solutions, seeks out narratives of resiliency and innovation, and challenges us to interrogate how as a modern society we’ve transformed water from sacred to commodity.
The Burqa Issue
While their art questions, provokes, defends, indicts, or unapologetically takes a stance for or against the burqa, it is art that is first and foremost deeply personal, before it is political. Each of these artists know intimately, and at times painfully, how the world encounters women donned in burqas.
The Imprisoned Issue
We looked to artists who used their work to remind us of the toll prison takes on families and loved ones; artists who confronted the invisible – the stories that do not make the headlines or those too unfathomable to be true – when we talk about our 21st century prison culture. We looked to artists who have been imprisoned themselves.
The Immigrant Issue
The artists trouble and redefine the very idea of ‘the immigrant.’ Some directly engage with present global immigration debates while avoiding the vitriol those debates are steeped in. And some poignantly and apolitically shine a light on universal themes of departure, arrival, loss, uprootedness, persistence and faith.
The Girls Issue
Although the challenges our girls confront daily often seem insurmountable and heartbreaking, the artists and writers in this issue remind us that if there is one continuous thread that connects all of their stories, it is resilience. And yet we know resilience isn’t enough.
The Guyana Issue
What the global public often sees of Guyana and its citizens still center on the exotic, the tropical, the colonial, and the touristic. The artists in this issue aim to counter this historic malpractice and seek out innovative and critical perspectives to engage conversations about Guyana and its vast diaspora.
The Gun Issue: Dawn Whitmore, “Dollar Billz” from the series Gun Love, 2014.
The Unsheltered Issue: Alex Fradkin and The Reciprocity Foundation, “Derrick,” 2014.
The Burqa Issue: Miriam Magsi, “Soldiers of Delusion,” 2015.
The Imprisoned Issue: Paul Rucker, (still from video) “PROLIFERATION,” 2009.
The Immigrant Issue: Swati Khurana, “Love Letters As Necessary Fictions,” 2008.
The Girls Issue: Soraya Nulliah, “Child Bride,” 2007.
The Guyana Issue: Mason Richards, (still from video) “The Seawall,” 2015.