“Live your life, live it right, be different, do different things”-Kendrick Lamar
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”-Maya Angelou
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring”- David Bowie
When the idea of creating an online publication that centered on the representation of race, gender, and sexuality within the arts started over a year ago, I saw potential. The idea itself as many ideas begin, started as a small voice that was based on the need to provide a space where people are passionate about things they can identify with. For this instance it was the forever evolving representations of identity that can be transcribed beyond art itself to feel like a real counterpart of our own lives. Every so often I would discover a band, movie, or book that speaks to me far more than it may have for others. From hearing The Smiths’ This Charming Man where a man lusts over another man with a sense of vulnerability to Janelle Monae’s Cold War that speaks to struggling with the loneliness that comes from being different, I was able to find people I identify with. Those initial discoveries, especially when unaware that there are people who feel the same as you do, can actually change your life. Just as so many songs beyond the general providence that radio and television provide us with, are out there to discover, the same can be said about any other form of art. From television to movies to books to theater to any other form of artistic expression, we are often able to find ourselves within such a space. Especially for those who have ever felt different.
From those first nervous explanations to friends, asking them to fully hear me out and my intentions for a possible project , to meeting the very first time with other members, this is something I simply couldn’t have done without the support of others. It was through the process of planning this site with others that it went past being an idea to become an actual part of our lives. Here at Beyond, our purpose is to publish material that we are passionate of talking about and out of the respect for others who care too. Educating and entertaining, friends and readers alike, we are hopeful that our exploration through identity within art can be valued amongst others. We are not only showcasing art and the artists who make them that have only come to attention recently but are also providing a source towards examining the groundbreaking revolutionaries in their field, forgotten classics, and simply the most important artists and work that has and continues to make a difference.
Directing our attention to the future, we have many plans that exceed what is already provided. Most importantly we will be adding a submission page within the next month that allows anyone to submit articles, prose, poetry, photos, videos, and anything else that follows our developed guidelines. In addition, in only a few weeks we will be opening positions for writers, artists, and programmers to join our crew and help us maintain the site.
There has never been a more exciting time than now in seeing all of the representations of diversity on screen, in a book, or through a performance. From women to race to the LGBT community, the representation and focus on each form of identity within the arts is only increasing as time goes by.
This is only the beginning. I hope you join us for the ride.