This year has been seismic, not only in its forceable change, but also in its ability for us to rethink, shift, and pivot our lives with little notice. For the past few years, fueled by a presidency on American soil that found its footing in divisive rage, we have all felt the cumulative effects across the world. Our own rage, not stemming from hate, was different. It mostly paralyzed us, the collective shock rendering us into stillness. The world was shifting towards greater divisions. We wanted change desperately, but everything felt out of reach. Then, 2020. This year has forced us to stop, spurring us to examine how we got here, and demanding us to make sweeping changes from the ground up. There is no longer time to remain quiet. We are still angry, perhaps even more so. But at this point in time, our rage is no longer merely an emotion, it has become creative and transformational. The stakes are high. From social injustice to climate action to the rebellion brewing in professional sports, we have transitioned from inaction to action. We are breaking down old systems, hoping to rebuild on more equitable ground. We are protesting injustices, screaming at the top of our lungs to finally be heard. We are creating art to contribute to the current dialogue. We hear the demand for change from every community, every industry, and in the here and now, we want something different. We are so very tired. But in this despair, lies hope and conviction, for better days to come. This collective rage, now a creative outlet, is helping us make inroads to revolution and rebirth. The world still has a choice. It is not too late.
This emotional dichotomy, between rage and hope, will be reflected through a series of articles in this first issue of Torpedo Journal. Our contributors examine what has come apart in 2020 and anticipate the forces and factors likely to define the year ahead. While 2019 feels like the distant past, and 2021 looms ever closer, the stories we are sharing in our inaugural issue offer an intimate glimpse into the lives of others over the past year. The subjects and contributors at the heart of these stories are faithfully living their purpose, even in the most uncertain of times. We simply cannot go on like we used to, so how do we harness our frustration in order to create lasting change?
The steadfast qualities of sportsmanship enable us to see a way out of the darkness, much like the underdog facing a formidable opponent in a championship match. The key to surviving in this present environment is a willingness to endlessly adapt, explore, learn, and adjust. In many ways, we are hoping to use this resilience as a beacon to guide us home. This is the single most important message of this issue: we must never give up.
We all have a social responsibility to give back to our communities, to lift up our neighbours, to be kind to the earth. There is beauty in destruction and in the ways we seek to create something out of ashes. The most moving songs, movies, paintings, books, performances, and stories have deep roots in pain. Something good can come of this era. Rage can be transformational, landing us in new and unknown territories. It’s time.
We hope these stories bring you renewed optimism and inspiration, as they have for us. We are committed to journalistic integrity and are humbled to be working shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow citizens as we work together to build a better future, supporting their narratives, and ensuring every voice, no matter how small, is heard. We eagerly write from this participatory lens. We’re observers, just like you. We want to share the things that get us excited, so that you’ll get excited about them too – it’s that simple, truly. This year has been heavy, but even in the moments where the ground has shifted considerably underneath us, there is always beauty. We hope you visit often for the silver linings.
Welcome to Torpedo Journal. Stay as long as you like.
Punit and Olivia
Artwork by: Jennifer Norman