Demos is a journal of politics, poetry and ideas; a journal of democracy in a changing climate.
Demos Journal is an exciting project we’re starting this year – namely, a journal devoted to politics, poetry and ideas. Our big idea is “democracy in a changing climate.” That is, how does the climate crisis throw into question our understanding of politics? Does it demand a whole new way of doing politics, a radically new democratic politics? This is the origin of our name ‘demos’ the Greek word for the people. We’re hoping to promote writing – both critical and creative – that puts the demos back into democracy!
Our aim is to cultivate a culture in which creative writing and critical writing both contribute to developing ideas about the changing world we live in! We believe that art, poetry and literature have an equally important role to play.
Our main challenge is to bridge the typical gap between theory and practice by linking in our ideas with community-based, grassroots campaigns. In this way we hope to support and foster communities of activism around crucial issues and to further promote the arts and their role in this process.
The community should get behind Demos Journal because Demos aims to promote the arts and cultivate a culture of activism and engagement in Canberra by fostering feedback between ideas and their practice.
We will publish on ideas that have currency for actual activism and advocacy groups working in Canberra today, such as on refugee politics, working with the Canberra Refugee Action Group; on environmental issues and the climate crisis, collaborating with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), the ANU Environmental Collective (EC), Fossil Free ANU (FFANU), 350.org and other groups; we will also promote the debate on education and radical pedagogies, working with campus groups like the ANUSA Education Committee (EdCom) and the ANU Education Action Group (EAG).
Furthermore, in conjunction with poetry events around Canberra, such as the Word-Coop, slam poetry events (Bad!Slam!) and Slamborree, etc., we will aim to champion the arts and create opportunities for people to become inspired and involved.
The Stir Grant would greatly benefit the expensives of Demos Journal in the following areas that are crucial to the project:
1. Setting up an online journal platform, since digital media is essentail to all journals. This involves purchasing a web domain and wordpress. We already have graphic and web design expertise, which would mean we could say on the graphical design costs. This would be around $150.
2. It could pay for the costs for our main forum events in conjuction with the journal launch and events for the June Shenfield Poetry Prize 2015. We would like to provide payments for our speakers, venue hire and other associated costs involved in procuring food and drinks for these events. Depending on how many events we run, then this could range from $250 – 400.
3. We will also self-publish our first journal through a publishing house. While we will save money on the design costs by doing them ourselves, printing costs money as does distribution, marketing and promotion. We estimate that this would cost around $500.
Demos Journal is a project that, if successful, could expand into a major cultural, political and literary journal, which could then support itself through its subscriptions across Australia. In this respect, we could expand to become like other major journals such as Overland, Meajin, n + 1 or Jacobin. I firmly believe that Demos, however, has something entirely unique and original to contribute, treading a path that no other journal has yet trodden. This lies in the originality of its guiding theme – “democracy in a changing climate.” While writers like Naomi Klein, in This Changes Everything, have finally touched upon how the climate crisis demands new forms of democracy and political engagement, this is yet to become something widely recognised or explored. Furthermore, there is a crucial role that the arts have to play in creating ideas – not a didactic role in telling us what to think or in being simplistically political, but in creating new ways of thinking and opening up whole realms of discourse that were previously unavaliable. In a time when the problems that face us are quite literally unimaginable, I say “all power to the imagination!” Help us promote literature, poetry, art and critical thought, and I have little doubt Demos Journal could become an enduring and important presence in the Australian intellectual life.
My Skills: Media and Communications, Environmental Advocacy, NIDA Playwrighting
My Skills: Photography, Graphic Design, Sustainability and Environmental Management, Legal Experience, Parliamentary Internship,