10 • Reflections

Volume 10, Issue 02
April 8, 2024

Ten years is two inches in diameter of a white pine tree in the Northeast. Ten years is the frozen dormancy of an arctic wooly bear caterpillar. Ten years is a flash, geologically. This issue of Paprika! aims to consider the role of reflection as we face the next decade. Ten years invites a lesson from the ecosphere’s concurrent timescales: what if we face the immediacy of climate change with a slowness for reflection?

Reflections by Paprika! invited contributors to explore moments, thoughts, and potentialities within our current world predicament. Yanbo Li’s essay, “10 years to reflect in the same space,” contemplates personal development amid life’s disruptions, while Precious Ndubka’s recipe delves into discovering strength through shared community experiences. The reflections gathered here collectively interrupt the flow of time’s inertia.

More tangible expressions of reflections can be gleaned from pieces like Yotam Oron’s “Capturing Reflections” and Claire Hungerford’s “The Bird Issue”, both of which examine the reflective quality of glass and its implications. Abigail Chang’s project, “Reflections of a Room,” explores reflections as a “dynamic tool for intentional construction, whose subtle impact disrupts constant noise.”

Yuval Yadin and McKenzie Blaine’s work prompts the metaphorical process of reflection on the ongoing large-scale phenomena encountered daily. They convey reflections on the problems wrought by the U.S.’s colonized food system, from a disruption of self-reliance to threatening centuries of Indigenous Ojibwe culture and life-supporting agricultural practices. As Leanna Goose notes in Blaine’s piece, the cycles of time are disrupted as we burn through resources at the expense of the next seven generations - and our ten-year future.

Today’s systems of power rush to establish their preferred solutions for the climate crisis, making decisions that alter our futures. Without dedicated space and time for reflection, we risk allowing the immediacy of climate action to be co-opted for single-variable solutions. Instead, we need space to envision solutions that address not just carbon, but a transformation away from the exploitation of land, labor, people, and ecosystems that has led us to this singular moment of planetary existentialism. In this issue of Paprika! we have created one such space for reflection.

Reflections thus explores the relationship between the self and the self, the institution, and the collective as we conceptualize and work to forge a new environmental reality that limits the scale of climate change. We present to you an array of work that intrigues and questions the manifestation of a reflection as something that is either built or a moment of thoughtful perception.

As editors, we also ask to question the value of reflections. Do they lend themselves as a moment of paralysis, avoiding necessary action? Or does the rupture they create lead to a purposeful step forward?

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Volume 10, Issue 00
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Volume 10, Issue 03
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