For over 40 years genesis has given IUPUI students a stage to unveil the extraordinary art they have created. The Fall 2018 issue’s pages are filled with stories, poems, paintings, photographs, digital art and so much more that showcase a variety of styles and techniques that make the experience of flipping through it lively and colorful. Some of the contributors touched on themes of race, sexuality, love, change, and even adoption within their pieces. It’s impossible to pick a favorite.
Every time I flip the page, I am instantly moved by the freedom these creators are given to express themselves in our literary magazine. This was something I wasn’t expecting as a first-time reader. The lack of filtering found in genesis on important themes has the potential to start real conversations and discussions, not only in our classrooms, but outside of them.
“Sit with ME” by Gano Williams III spoke of the treatment of African Americans on our campus and in our country. One of the most powerful lines of the poem is,
“I dress like You hoping to assimilate
Into the systematic racism my University inherently facilitates
The anxiety caused by the Microaggressions
Blocks the learning curve towards my profession
We too wish, to educate ourselves
But we are forced to hide and to flee”
To see genesis give Williams a platform to speak about this issue is amazing. In this piece, Williams calls out the systematic racism here on our campus and shows the reader the effects it has on African American students. I really loved that this magazine didn’t ignore this important voice. Instead of only publishing pieces with lighthearted themes, genesis chose to close the issue with a loud bang. It left readers reflecting on the powerful words of Williams and personally left me thinking about our university’s actions. Giving writers a platform to speak up about these issues shines a light on the ugly realities of our university and society.
The LGBTQ+ voices were also not ignored in the Fall 2018 issue. “pansies” by Zach Carrico is a photography piece where two queer men are posing with their hand on their cheeks looking down. A rose is placed in their mouths, their nails are painted, and glitter is placed on their cheek bones. As a reader, I was glad to see this representation of queer men in the magazine. The title really captured my attention because it shows how important having this piece in the magazine really is. Queer men painting their nails and covering themselves in glitter can be harshly judged, and insults such as “pansies” can become commonplace. Seeing two queer men being their authentic selves is really refreshing. I absolutely loved that Carrico was able to speak on this issue and that genesis is willing to include voices that we don’t usually hear from.
Every semester I walked past the elevators at Cavanaugh Hall, never noticing the racks where genesis sat waiting for students to pick it up and read through its pages. As an English major, I heard about this amazing magazine from all of my professors who spoke nothing but good things about it and now I can finally say that I understand all the hype. Don’t wait too long to experience the art our classmates create.
Jannette Aguirre is a senior, majoring in English with a concentration in Writing and Literacy