The editors at Paperbark asked if I would be interested in submitting a piece of visual scholarship to their upcoming issue on Resilience. I jumped at the chance to publish creative work in a literary magazine venue. The Resilience issue came out in hard copy this week, and I am so pleased to be featured alongside some beautiful writers, poets and artists– many of whom are right here at the University of Massachusetts– creating a chorus in the tune of hope.

The issue asks the question, “What is resilience and what does it look like in this time and space?” Editor Rachel Berggren writes in her introduction that “Resilience theory is the study of the impact of traumatic events on people and society, and seeks to understand the way in which people and the environment respond to these events. According to this theory, resilience is the ability to persist in the face of prolonged contact with adversity” (p. 8).

My piece featured here is titled #dangersafetybravery, an incantation. This piece began as a performance piece contrived over drinks in smoky San Jose with my colleagues and fellow anthropologists Ellen Skilton and Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor. While the performance piece never took off, what I wrote from our meditations became this piece. What I’ve drawn is a troika meditation on resilience as a kind of bravery. I use three stories: one about how safety is in fact very dangerous, a second one about how danger can save you, and a third about how even those who may feel powerless can use truth and danger to save the world. It’s an incantation, which is a different kind of poetry, a spell or protective chant, and throughout I exhort you to repeat it after me until you, too, feel brave.

Galman, S. C. (2019). #Dangersafetybravery: An incantation [Visual scholarship]. Paperbark, 1 (2) 70-78.

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