Solidarity work is a lifelong undertaking. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from a year of attending protests and engaging in self-reflection, it’s that there is no one lane for allyship. Yet, in our efforts—as students, designers, and human beings—to be politically engaged, many of us have turned to community leaders and organizers for guidance. This issue of Paprika!, “In Solidarity,” calls for reflections on activist practices that transcend perceived disciplinary boundaries. We asked contributors to write a letter to someone, living or dead, whose activism has meaningfully impacted their lives. Other interlocutors were asked to provide definitions for the terms “allyship,” “advocacy,” and “housekeeping,” as they related to solidarity work. In collecting these open letters and definitions, we hope to have built a shared platform and archival record of solidarity methodologies that have inspired our community in and beyond YSoA.
Exceeding our initial ambitions for the issue, our contributors have offered insightful responses to the following questions: What role can architects, historians, archivists and theorists play in the cultivation of political alliances and mutual aid? What stories and spaces can be reclaimed in doing this work? The result is no one definition, no one theory of solidarity work, but a multiplicity of proposals and continuous practices.