VoiceIn Journal – representing the voices that go unappreciated, undetected and unheard
May 15, 2015
[Images courtesy of VoiceIn journal]
VoiceIn Journal is a UK-based publication that draws philosophical, political, creative and academic minds on to a singular platform. It is concerned with building a window through which we may perceive, understand, accept and empathise with others. In a world where so many voices are oppressed, censored and silenced, VoiceIn represents the voices that go unappreciated, undetected and unheard. We talked to the team behind Vij about their ethos, their inspiration, the greatest problems they perceive in the modern world and how they see the platform developing over time…
TSOTA: What is the story behind the VoiceIn journal platform?
VIJ: VoiceIn Journal is still a new-born, not yet three-months old, breast-feeding on the nipples of empathy and creativity. Thus far, its story – although not a long one – is developing quickly and healthily, in no small part due to the generosity it finds in its network, and through its contributors. Its purpose is both simple and challenging: to search out, promote and provoke emotionally intelligent responses to the world, and then to document them.
TSOTA: What triggered your wanting to do this?
VIJ: First and foremost, VoiceIn was conceived as a social response; a response to our global communities that are forced to gyrate upon Money’s middle finger, until they are dizzied with visions of ‘financial power’ – our modern synonym for success.
We all recognise, if only momentarily, that westernised comfort is an expanding cushion; one full of impoverished bodies and decay.
VoiceIn’s belief is that the growth of honesty and empathy is perhaps the greatest tool for fixing this fundamentally broken system.
TSOTA: How would you describe your ethos? How do you hope to make a positive change in the world?
VIJ: Our ethos is to offer a local solution to the deficit of care, understanding and empathy that we have seen during years of neoliberalist carelessness. VoiceIn is able to do this through the medium of creativity; that which flows almost directly from an emotional engagement with our surroundings.
On a very modest level, what VoiceIn has been doing over the first few months since its inception is a microcosm of what we would like to achieve; nurturing a local community; understanding the experiences of each other; and offering a platform upon which emotional intelligence, and the emotionally intelligent, can organise and connect with others.
[Image: The Unseen Words Project]
TSOTA: What are the issues you see in the world that need tackling?
VIJ: Drugs, sex and war are the three industries that are, one, the most destructive, and two, the most profitable. The issues we see in the world are very often a result of blind ambition to achieve profit; to enlarge our wallets and lengthen our bank balances.
Our philosophy here is that it is actions, and not people, that are inherently bad and in need of addressing.
Rather than tackling problems with reactive aggression, VoiceIn is much more concerned with the restoration, implementation and development of constructive ideas; ideas that dismantle their destructive counterparts and offer a more reasonable, sustainable, and benevolent solution.
TSOTA: What is your greatest inspiration and which individuals have inspired you on your journey?
VIJ: Certainly, 99 year-old Jacques Fresco, founder of The Venus Project, planted a extremely durable seed into the minds of VoiceIn’s creators, dedicating his life to engineering a sustainable concept for the future; one that does not destroy the world, or thrive on the industries we previously mentioned.
A banned Ted-Talk from Graham Hancock entitled ‘The War on Consciousness’ also had a profound input in the formation of VoiceIn’s values. Hancock exposed to us the importance of employing a conscious, spiritual richness between one another and the world in the face of global exploitation and greed.
During our recent journey, every single person that has offered us a moment of their time and energy, appreciating and encouraging us in what we do has been an inspiration to VoiceIn.
[Image: Jolene Rae Walsh Behind the Mask]
TSOTA: You have received submissions from all corners of the UK and across Europe. Which of the ‘voices’ that you have featured on the site so far has moved you most?
This is a difficult one to answer for us – every submission offers us a little insight into the daily experience of others. There is something truly brave and beautiful about the act of sharing itself. In this way, it is often the interaction we receive outside of VoiceIn that moves us. We feel intimately involved in the journey of a number of our contributors, all thanks to their sheer openness and honesty. At the moment, we’re significantly taken by the journeys of Jolene Rae Walsh, Kate Scott, Akeim Toussaint Buck and Laura A. Munteanu, all of whom we’ve met or will meet in-person soon; we’re indebted to the submissions of Nasser Hussain and Sean Grant Jukes (both VI photographers), Sadia Afreen Chowdhury, Teklal Neguib, Abhik Shome, Paul Breen, and Mahinour Tawfik, all of whom have provided regular entries to the journal; Dumi Senda, Max Farrar, Jeneen Interlandi, Ian Duhig, and Ken Maharajah blew us away with their contributions to the journal.
It seems unfair to name names really, as every contributor has provided a new richness to the VoiceIn network – we can only say thank you to everyone for sharing themselves with us.
TSOTA: Which themes do you have coming up over the next few months?
VIJ: So, this month, May, is focused around the ideas of ‘love’. Adam Ward kicked things off with a harrowing yet necessary short story about domestic violence. This submission was important because it demonstrated the extent to which the theme can bend and twist itself. We’re excited to see what else we get in!
June focuses on ‘submission’, again, open to interpretation; July, awe; August, disapproval etc. – the themes may all seem a little random, but VoiceIn was inspired by Plutchik’s wheel of emotion, which captures a vast array of feelings upon which we base our themes on a month-by-month basis. Where better to search for emotionally intelligent responses than through emotions themselves.
TSOTA: How do you hope that VoiceIn journal will develop in the forthcoming months and years?
VIJ: By extending our hands to as many like-minded individuals and organisations as possible, VoiceIn Journal hopes to create both a strong national and international network of creative, communally active individuals; especially those that wish to induce constructive change in their immediate societies. With a number of central members of the VoiceIn team seeking to travel and experience the depth of different cultures, VoiceIn hopes to provide a window through which the lives of others can be acknowledged and experienced.
By creating local and international events and magazines; promoting the creative work and fruitful ideas of everyday people; and connecting, on an intimate level, with as many people as possible, VoiceIn aims to be a voice for the unheard, a platform for nurturing positive change in society.
We like to offer a big thanks to you, TSOTA, for offering your hand in this partnership. Your work and outreach remains an inspiration for VoiceIn Journal.
VoiceIn Journal is always open to submissions, and readily open to networking with organisations, projects, and individuals.