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Introduction to Complicity: Part 2

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Complicity is survival.  

Complicity is taking the blue pills in The Matrix, day after day, suppressing that desire to be free.

Complicity is indigestion and a dry mouth. It leaks through the corners of our lips. We try to say the word ‘accountability’ and this ball of complexity gets pushed back up our digestive system through reflex. Nausea settles in. Our throats burn. We try to hold it in but the bitterness gets more unbearable. We throw up. It gets a little harder every time as it gets more complex the more we dig into the systems we are in, a little more unpleasant as we grow used to the sour reflexes. But we survived it everyday.

Complicity is inheritance.

Complicity is a quiet surrender to the colony. It is following the rules of language, of binaries that are subscribed to an imperialist imagination. It is following an ideological logic already subscribed by a community; it is a type of writing where the tip of the pen never reaches its boundaries, a type of writing that flows well from the coloniser’s tongue.

We examine this pendulum of complicity in Part 2. In rejecting the convention in form or narrative, we conclude this edition with a proposition to call in. Calling in those who survived what happened before us, the ghosts we must listen to. Calling in the knowing within us, the knowing of survival, of freedom. To seek a way out, Stefanie Hooi’s fiction titled ‘Heirlooms’ looks inwards, wrestling with a body and ghosts from its own bloodline. Timmah Ball’s video essay ‘Too Close’ comments on the over-circulation in popular culture, questioning its purpose to community survival.

Complicity is a knowing in the body, a recognition that frees you, a freeing that one day will lead to full liberation.

— Nikki Lam