A Message from OS Founder / Creative Director, Elæ:
We’re facing one of the most profound and frightening times in recent human history, simultaneously full of possibility and bringing up our deepest, most challenging fears. Right now, I’m asking myself how to prioritize care for self, kin, and community while also honoring my commitment to this organization, and the incredible network of humans it supports and represents. As such, I’ve made some critical decisions, which you will be able to read more about, in detail, via a forthcoming post on Medium.
What it boils down to, though, is this: there is the what of an organization like this one, and then there is the why. And the why of the OS has always been to create and model alternative systems for long term mutual aid, sustainability, and deeply lasting change beyond the confines of capitalism. Which means that now, when the research and skills that I relied on to build this platform and its project are most needed for the greater good, those aspects of the organization’s mission are going to be its (and my) primary goals. Direct action is needed, direct service, moreso than the longer term processes and experiments that rely on a supply chain, and labor, that can no longer be understood in the same way. Protecting and providing for the humans at every point in that supply chain is far, far more important that the physical outcomes of projects we might have originally envisioned.
But it’s a pivot, a transformation, not a closure. A radical statement of possibility and power. A commitment to direct support. What that will look like, for now, is:
We will continue to update our Open Resource Library page with COVID-19 mutual aid resources for direct support, for organizing, for tech, for artists — for all our people, and others, to use.
We will not announce new acceptances / our submittable is closed to new submissions for any print publications.
We will not be printing or shipping any new orders for the foreseeable future, or accepting payment for preorders. However, as has been the long-term plan,
the OS is in the process of rolling out an entirely Open Access Library of our publication projects in digital form, with the option to donate directly to authors alongside each title, to support their loss of income in this time. Catalog years will be added weekly, in reverse chronological order.
Work on our forthcoming print projects will be temporarily suspended, and reconsidered for virtual use, until identifying a new timeline is possible.
We will also be offering online strategy sessions, additional resources and guides, and a variety of other programming, both as our organization and by amplifying the independent efforts of our members. The best thing to do is to follow us on Instagram and on Facebook, for updates and resources in both posts and stories. Already, you can follow Orchid Tierney’s Distāntia remote reading series, for instance, or my own Speculative Solidarity series (also running on IGTV, use YouTube for cc).
I realize that this is a more extreme change than many organizations are making, but we’ve never been most organizations, and we’ve never sought to be. As I mentioned, there will be a longer version of this, with more information about how I reached these decisions (in conversation with community members and volunteers), on Medium soon, if you’re interested.
Our goal, right now, is to care for ourselves and each other not only right now but for the long haul, anticipating the major changes ahead, sharing tools and strategies and resources and kindness, and allowing for ease in our own days as our exhausted, stressed bodies require. We hope for that for you, too.
In solidarity and possibility, always.
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