Editor’s Note: September 2020

By Shameelah Khan


At Odd Magazine, we often prefer to have our Editor’s notes feel like a narrative-driven shorter piece, a poetic perusal of our thoughts like, a memoir of our dreams walking you into the beginning of each issue, in every attempt at documenting its theme’s essence. This month, I would like to take a break from that kind of Editor’s Note and speak to you, have a dialogue with you about- Odd.

My first experience of Odd Magazine was as a reader. I had always known Amir and was so amazed and in awe of this special space, he had created with his friend Taahir. Their vision for Odd was Un-learning, Up-lifting and Exploring. When I had stumbled on the magazine, I was doing all of these three things in my own way. As someone who had always (and still to some extent) felt like an Other in my communities and practically my life growing up in South Africa, it is never easy to step outside of ourselves and un-learn so much of what we had thought was truth. Taahir and Amir had a philosophy. In a way, Odd started as a response to their own “otherness”. The academic Homi Bhabha speaks about a Third Space, a location of culture, where he comments on the idea of a mezzanine space- a space that lies in the middle of identity-making. I believe this space in which Bhabha speaks of to be a space of healing, transformation and reclaiming. Odd became that space. The re-imaginative Space. When I started working at Odd, I had come across writers from all backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, religions and each story carried a little bit of the writers with it. A little bit of their Third Spaces. And in every issue, I got to live with those writers, breathing in the space of vulnerabilities and togetherness. It was in these differences or similarities between us that I found the Third Space- the space of Odd. I would like to revisit the intentions of Odd. It is a space of creation, of change-making and openness to dialogue and artistic-expression. It is not meant to push aside- but to uplift and take in its editorial hands the stories of people who have made Odd what it is today. 

I loved Odd from the beginning because I could see myself finding a home for my otherness. In our last Odd meeting, Amir and I once spoke of all the things we wanted for Odd. It never ended- the possibility of collaboration with other artists. We wanted to share this with you. That we are the “Other” space and this is your “Other” Space, regardless of where you come from or what you feel you have to say about the world you find yourself in. You carry in your belly a story and we want to sit with you. We want to be in an open dialogue with you, always. 

Odd would like to announce yet another exciting addition to the Magazine. We felt that sometimes, some creatives have had no space to engage in the process of the “Zine” and what it means to curate a creative or artistic space, independently (with some editing help of course). Odd has launched its very first Sub-Odd Quarterly issues. Every three months Odd will work with one creative interested in doing an entire spread, predominantly independently. All you have to do is submit (when the call is issued) a write up of anything you would like to create an entire Zine around. The entire Odd Team will review and make a decision on who will get the space. Once it is yours, you will have complete autonomy over the sub-issue. This is open to anyone, but it is important to note that preference will be given to Academics, Researchers or artists who have already been published and are open to contributing a full body of creative work that can carry itself as a Zine published through Odd, which we take no ownership over, but rather offer you the space to have your work exhibited/curated. This issue we welcome the sub-issue curated by Mpho A. Ndaba, activist, writer, scholar, director and producer who explores in the first sub-Issue a body of work around bi-sexuality awareness in South Africa. 

Click here to read this Special Zine Edition.

In this issue, we explore the theme of Otherness in the following:

15 Films to see from South Africa – Shameelah Khan

Odd Interview with Nasty C – Amir Bagheri

Odd Artist of the Month: Puleng Mongale

Narrative Essay:
On Being a Muslim Other: Music, Maplas, Madressahs and my Mother – Shameelah Khan

Short Story:
It’s Complicated – Firdous Hendricks

Ten People You Will Find In A Humanities Seminar – Kiasha Naidoo & Ali Ridha Khan

When the war comes – Takudzwa Goniwa
Watch me burn – Amir Bagheri
Adaptation to life as art: a theory – Awósùsì Olúwábùkúnmi
Transmutation – Awósùsì Olúwábùkúnmi
Meuble – Mary McColley
a poem in which i find out my grandmother’s home was repossessed – Anthony Aguero
the other k word – Miriam Gayize
Marquee Moon – Al McClimens
mother! – Amanda Minkkinen
Apophenia is the Spirit of Discernment – Joshua Morley
Cliffed – Seirce Mhac Conghail
Art Talk at the MoMA: 4 Vignettes – Andrew Cyril Macdonald
Library – Leela Soma
I lived in the body of a god once – Timi Sanni
not in residence – cathryn mccarthy

Every month since 2016, we have been pouring tremendous time, thought, love, and resources into Odd Magazine, which remains free (and ad-free) and is made possible by patronage.

It takes us hundreds of hours a month to compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain.

If you find any joy and solace in this labour of love, please consider becoming a supporter by monthly donation, between a cup of tea and a good lunch. Your support really matters to us.