Here, photographer and Cameroon native Afor Foncham, a student at Mary Baldwin University, writes: “It was inspired by the things I see on social media and hear about black women being loud, ugly, etc. [I did] this shoot with one of my very good friends. I wanted to capture the structure of her face and the even pigmentation, plus the little flaws about her complexion.”
The story goes like this: As a never-ending, never- yielding onslaught of cars speeds past, three young women are stuck beside a Bangladesh highway, unable to cross. Finally, one steps forward, one hand raised to halt the cars, the other hold- ing on to her terrified friend, who holds on to the other terrified friend. When, mi- raculously, the three make it across, the leader recalls her father’s long-ago words: In Bangladesh, cars “never stop for anyone, so if you keep waiting, you will never be able to cross.” She felt his words gave her protection.
This story, “He Watches Over Me,” by Faizah Aziz Aditya of Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, is one of 21 short stories, poems, photos or images in the latest edition of the online magazine Voices & Visions, published twice a year and edited by Smith students. The online journal, overseen by Rosetta Marantz Cohen, faculty director of the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute at Smith, reflects the work and ideas of students at women’s colleges and high schools around the world. “Their art gives insight into experiences of cultural duality, nationalism, appropriation and adaptation,” says editor in chief Brittany Collins ’19.
The journal began as an idea at a 2012 conference of leaders of women’s colleges, Women’s Education Worldwide. “We were thinking of ways to share students’ work,” Cohen said. “This emerged as an idea that would be valuable to students.” Collins seeks submissions from an international network of women’s schools and colleges, and includes alumnae. Students from Smith, Mount Holyoke, Simmons and Agnes Scott colleges have published work, alongside students from Cameroon, India, South Korea, South Africa and more. “It’s thrilling,” Collins says, “to watch those creative processes unfold.
SAQ, Summer 2017