Call and Respond, guest-edited by Kelly Taylor Mitchell, is a follow up to the Summer 2021 Oral Histories issue of Hand Papermaking and illustrates the ways in which artists employ oral histories as catalysts for world building and conveying story through craft. In the issue, oral histories whether real, imagined, or recontextualized, serve as the call to which artists respond. The interdisciplinary response showcased throughout the issue offers orality as a medium, as pliable as pulp. Making room for centering ancestral ties, conjuring seminal influences from OctaviaButler to Zora Neal Hurston, and celebrating handmade paper as a container for more inclusive archives. Organized to reflect the musical origin of the call and respond, known to me through the comfort of gospel music, the issue shares moments of reflection in the form a prelude, interlude, and postlude.
Call and Respond opens with a Prelude, a conversation between guest-editor Kelly Taylor Mitchell, and Krista Franklin, outlining the aims of the issue while offering insights into our interconnected practices.
Board member Candy Alexandra González, embraces their papermaking practice as a spiritual practice with ancestral foundations.
Re’al Christian examines the work of Firelei Báez, through the lens of memory and material.
Jerushia Graham immerses us in the complex world of storytelling as articulated through the artist books of Tia Blassingame .
A poetic Interlude is offered by Akua Lezli Hope.
Vanessa Nieto Romero invites us to Bogota for a bilingual journey through the work happening at the collective studio Taller Circular.
Cesar Faustino and Vanessa Nieto Romero share a paper sample with a distinctive material history and referential lithograph.
Ancestral stories are on view in the work of Ann Johnson, presented as an in-magazine exhibition.
Daricia Mia DeMarr discusses daydreaming as an act of self-care and self-preservation in her conversation with Renee Stout.
Jazmine Catasús explores the time transcending power of folklore and oral history in her conversation with Saya Woolfalk.
We close the circle by returning to Krista Franklin for the Postlude.