“There’s really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” – Arundhati Roy
It is an honour and a privilege to present to you, the first ever (super-sized!) issue of Honi Soit edited by the Autonomous Collective Against Racism (ACAR). This edition reflects so much of ourselves and our experiences within its pages. As a demonstration of the power of autonomy and self-determination, this issue was written and edited solely by individuals who identify as a Person of Colour, Indigenous, from an Ethno-Cultural background, or marginalised by White Supremacy. In this paper, we aim to give voice to those marginalised by racism and subvert the White hegemony of mainstream media that drowns out our dissent; be it on newspapers, television, film or radio. Providing a public platform for these voices is not discriminatory towards White people, rather it counteracts the wealth of social power already afforded to Whiteness in Australian society.
Intersectionality has always been (and hopefully, will always be) a focal point of ACAR’s politics; a point that has hopefully spilled on to the pages of this edition of Honi Soit. We have attempted to centre intersectional voices, namely, from people who identify as Wom*n, Trans, Queer, with a disability or of a low socioeconomic status, as well as being affected by racism. Those that find themselves in the cross-fires of multiple axes of oppression are often left behind by non-inclusive activism. Thus it is important to acknowledge and confront racism in its multiple manifestations and interactions with other forms of oppression. To that end we are proud to say that this edition of Honi Soit features content predominantly submitted by Wom*n of Colour – a telling indication that WOC face unique struggles that are too often erased by white-centric feminism and male-centric anti-racism.
ACAR is a community and its role as a safe space, a place of growth and learning for those who experience racism, extends to this edition of Honi Soit. This inaugural edition seeks to validate experiences of oppression that are too often, dismissed or erased. Here, we have the space to express ourselves, to challenge preconceived notions of non-White creators, and to defy the restrictions of White Supremacy. To all of you who have been taught to be ashamed of your culture, ethnicity or race, we hope this edition helps you to embrace your identity, even if it has been a source of pain. We hope that victims of racism will find empowerment and solidarity within these pages, and that the beneficiaries of racism will find awareness and understanding.
We would like to thank Sex for Honi (circa 2013) who first conceived of the idea of an autonomous non-White edition of Honi Soit. Fahad Ali for founding ACAR. Oscar Monaghan and Tabitha Prado for their contributions to race awareness on campus as ACAR’s “Official OBs” and founding members of Critical Race Discussion Group. Doctor Jane Park for raising race consciousness in the academy and bringing non-white students together. Regular Honi editors Justin Pen and Astha Rajvanshi and Creative Director Judy Zhu whose expert guidance made this edition possible. And finally, we would like to thank each and every one of you that contributed, whether you were published or not. You are not stereotypes. You are creative. You are writers, poets, artists and so much more. You defy definitions.
And now, we proudly present to you, the very first edition in the history of Honi Soit, to be written and edited by the Autonomous Collective Against Racism.
Bridget Harilaou and Shiran Illanperuma (Unofficial Office Bearers of ACAR, 2014)