Where do you come from?
For some of us, we respond with our heritage, our ethnicity, our skin — inextricable pieces of our roots and past that shape who we are every single day. For others, where we come from is best represented by the people who carry our history: our family and friends. The people we’ve seen come, stay, and go through every season of our lives.
Taking the question at face value, it might also appear that the answer is more simple than we thought. Where we come from could just be the place we last were — a point of transition to represent our present journey on the way to next place we are going. It’s an in-between, a temporary home we create on our search to define our own pasts.
In a physical sense, of course, home can also be represented by a place.
Perhaps for you, home comes alive in the smell of magnolia leaves, a soft reminder of the tree in your front yard that used to shed its leaves every fall in its quest to graze the sky.
Maybe it’s the street corner you used to turn on to see your high school ex-lover, a parking lot you used to park to watch the sunrise, the driveway of the house where you first learned how to fall off a bike. Maybe, for you, it’s a hilltop where you used to sit until four in the morning, chain smoking and laughing with friends about all the ways life hasn’t been so good to you.
Or, on nights the moon is full and the sky is clear, all the ways it has.
Each and every one of us come from a million places — places we’re proud of and, sometimes, places of trauma that we might still not know how to carry. Yet what matters most, as we’ve tried to show through this issue, is that we are the ones ultimately who choose our stories and how we share it with others.
For this issue of nasi, we asked some of the most incredible women and creative partners we know to tell us — in their own words — where they come from and where they hope to go.
— Eileen, Athena, and Eda
nasi — in Indonesian, rice; the daily sustenance.
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We are here to do the opposite of that.
Women / femmes have always stood at the origins of life, nourishment, and sustenance. We are bigger than the spaces made for us. We hold up more than half the world. We are, have been, and will always be unwavering, abundant growth.
nasi is an online and print platform that gives weight to a woman’s creative labor — something all too often erased. Our content, imagined and created by women, carves space for those who who make up the complicated web of identities with which we intersect and represent: for those who identify as women, as queer, as people of color.
Here, we write our own narratives. We hold space for those too often told to be subdued, smaller, and softer. Here, we reclaim our bodies, our beauty, and limitless ability to create. We give a place to heal, to celebrate, and to love in today's daunting political landscape.
Here, we provide the daily sustenance. We are women, and we are artists. And we are ready.
— Eileen, Taylor, and Eda
We are here. Create with us.