Hello, Indy Readers,
Over the past 7 months and counting, arts & entertainment in America have encountered one of the most serious threats weathered by the industry in modern history. COVID-19 has shut down Broadway, halted film productions, closed museums, and canceled concerts. Americans for the Arts reported in April that ⅔ of creatives were unemployed, encouraging many artists to turn to social media and other internet platforms to supply audiences with content and innovate revenue streams. But bottom lines have no doubt been impacted—perhaps presenting an even longer-term devastating effect to creative life in this country.
Each week seems to bring new melancholies and griefs to mourn. The losses of so many formidable talents—Chadwick Boseman, Naya Rivera, Larry Kramer, Bill Withers, John Prine, and several others—have cut particularly deep. We have long depended on the arts to unite people, and escape chaos, or explain reality, but as physical space becomes a relic of recent memory these functions lose their power.
Still—as much as we have lost, the arts beat on, a crucial—even hallowed—form of resistance to the fear, anguish, and pain that seems to border our world. The staff of the Indy, spread across time zones, have come together this semester to produce our first ever (pirate ship) fully online issue, because we believe that this resistance is essential. Art, whatever its context, asks for comment. We are here to provide it.
In this issue, you’ll find commentary about translating political awareness—in terms of racial justice and international human rights alike—into media diets. About the gender politics of the power of “WAP.” About the challenges of blockbusters like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the merits of some of the best summer releases—folklore, the Dirty Projectors’ Super João, Widowspeak’s Plum, and more. About the artistic journey of newly minted recording pianist (and Georgetown junior!) John Woolley. And pages of breathtaking artistic work by a half-dozen talented artists from campus.
Thank you for following along as we adapt to our new environment. We can’t wait for you to witness this issue—it’s remarkable. And so are the people who make it possible (yeah, you!).
Emma Cooney, Editor-in-Chief
Max Zhang, Managing Editor