The crowd, the flock, the herd, the mob, the swarm, the tribe: we are simultaneously fascinated and repelled by this super-organism, capable at times of great beauty and even wisdom (cf. The Wisdom of Crowds
) and at other times of appalling ugliness and violence. Aristotle defined humanity as an animal whose nature it is to live in a polis
, but in all ages we seem incapable of deciding whether this is a good or bad thing; one commentator’s inspiring revolutionary struggle is another’s mob rule. For the next issue of qarrtsiluni, we are open to all perspectives, positive and negative, historical and biological, on crowds and other aggregations of social animals. Inspiration can be sought in the ecstasy and fervor of the stadium, the battalion, the game, the march, the final episode, the fad, the stampede — or the collective consciousness in general. With the planet’s burgeoning human population threatening to exceed our ecological carrying capacity, and so many crises now requiring urgent collective action, it seems imperative for artists and writers, so often antisocial ourselves and preoccupied with the struggles of individuals, to turn our attention to sociality in its most vital and basic form.
We welcome submissions from all genres that we regularly consider: poems (no more than five per submission, please), prose (no more than 1000 words per story or essay), photos, videos, or other digitized artwork. For this issue, we will also entertain suggestions for crowd-sourced compositions. Email us with a proposal, and you might find yourself in charge of a wiki or survey set up for the nonce.
As always, please refer to the general guidelines for complete details on how and what to submit. One big change: we have taken down our online contact form. Too many submissions have been lost that way in recent months.
There are no guest editors this time; we are editing this issue ourselves. (See the About page for our bios, if you’re interested in knowing just who you’re dealing with.) The deadline for submissions is June 30, and we expect to begin serializing the issue in August.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Beth Adams and Dave Bonta
Managing Editors, qarrtsiluni