Hive is a digital publishing platform that focuses on contemporary epistemologies and systems, image making and representation, and social and political action, utilizing these as integral and core functions in the making and remaking of narratives, the social contract and constituent power.
What is Hive’s assessment of the current social and political realities that we are faced with? That must be answered with who we deem ourselves to be; as writers, curators, film-makers, and artists we are part of the creative class with our attendant privileges. Acknowledging this bias, our class and social privileges and the voices we have, is integral to the validity of our questioning; however, the right to frame and ask questions and the ability to publish voices in this format as a public forum must be objectively constituted within Hive’s framework, and remain independent and self-aware of exiting contradictions. So we acknowledge it openly and strive for objectivity in building our framework and analysis.
Hive’s assessment of current realities is ever shifting as it must, in order to continue to frame questions and elicit analysis. However realities are both highly diversified, and deeply fractured with larger, more cohesive systems practiced at colonization – economic, political and social – that continue to push for bio-political, social and political power with varying degrees of authority/authoritarian control from within and without existing historical and ahistorical narratives. In short, there are increasingly deeper fractures in established systems – languages, histories, political and social systems, – concurrent with the systems of command and control – such as the surveillance state, late-stage capitalism, authoritarian capitalism, the creaking and failing nation-state system, and the digital age that are causing and accelerating the ongoing breakdown in philosophical categories of political, political categories of the social, and social categories of the bio political and historical.
The urgency at hand is that as these fundamental categories and assumptions such as those that form the bedrock of practicing democracies breakdown, we are left with fracture at smaller and larger scales- while medium –level fracture is leavened by apathy and self-interest on the one hand, and deepening anger and violence on the other. Would it be disingenuous for Hive to claim to search for the breakage points of fracture and the possibilities embedded in the open-season on categories described above? What do we fear? That cooption of narratives and of systems on any scale removes automatically the democratic process of opting in? Or perhaps that we have not spoken, and if we do not, someone else will speak on our behalf- which when chosen is the representative function of democracy- which when automatically applied, and coerced takes away our already limited agency. We are small people with small voices – that is the truth. So the foundation stone of our assessment of the world are the stories of small voices, small people and their views of the world from their position in it. How that is determined articulated and presented, is framed with context from those voices, as well as Hive’s editorial mandate – letting this be both constructed and acted upon in order to test the applicability of this constructed frame to the issues at hand and its potential to further create room for question and if we are being utopian- to search for contradictions and points of fracture. Do we presume to have answers even as we frame questions? No, we do not as yet have the capability, the authority, the credibility or the deeper understanding, to presume to have answers or the right to presume on others’ behalf, and we never will. We can only attempt to answer those questions that we can construct with our research and establish with examples, and those that are posed by our contributors with objectivity and rigorous analysis.
Hive’s first mandate is then; to frame, contextualize and ask questions with method, order and example-based research, and to publish in a public forum, these questions, and continue to search for possibilities and answers. Hive’s second mandate is to publish context in a manner that allows for complexity and illuminates and presents that complexity without simplification. Hive’s third mandate is to foster action. While these mandates are necessarily abstract, they also form a framework that moves from questioning, to producing, to presenting, with a non-competitive and collaborative ethos rooted in narratives and research. As we grow and mature we hope to see these converted to action – whether it is in the form of exhibitions, performances, presentations, activism, consensus-building and community work.
Hive is Founder/Editor Renuka Sawhney, Narratives Editor Hira Cheema, and Performance Editor Caitlin Dutton. Hive is self-funded.