Submissions

 Proposed themes for this year’s upcoming issues

Vol. 31 No. 1 – March 30, 2018 
Theme: My Heritage is Bigger than Yours
Submission due date: Jan 30 2018

Deeply recessed within the discussion on systemic racism (and the accompanying debate on rising xenophobia and Islamophobia) is the tacit notion that, after all things said and done, western civilisation was almost a welcome historical and cultural necessity – some sort of a natural but burdensome journey that white colonisers had to reluctantly resort to and bear on their shoulders (as amply illustrated by the works of the rogue story-teller, Rudyard Kipling).

After all, western civilisation was a direct result of the enormous industrial modernisation and expansion that Europe had undertaken in its various empires, purportedly on behalf of humanity. This framework of superiority (combining racism and sexualisation of colonial violence and then using troops of colour during the World Wars and, until recently, in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan) has become deeply entrenched and is now also accompanied by a liberal whitewashing technique that, in the face of repeated setbacks, proposes a superiority of intellectuality.

France and its exalted notions of its laïcité is a prime example of that navel-gazing superiority complex that tries to use secularism as an antidote to the fightback against this colonialist assumption of intellectual superiority. The sword of secularism that falls hard on errant immigrants is a telling example, as is the emotional engagement of the general population through the sale of red poppies for Remembrance Day.

In a recent piece in The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra says, “In 1917, the US president, Woodrow Wilson, baldly stated his intention, “to keep the white race strong against the yellow” and to preserve “white civilisation and its domination of the planet.”

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/10/how-colonial-violence-came-home-the-ugly-truth-of-the-first-world-war

Thus, “my civilisation is stronger than yours, my heritage is bigger than yours” is a refrain that resounds implicitly nowadays, without the need to spell it out.

We invite writers, artists, essayists and cartoonists to seize the opportunity and expand on this theme in the forthcoming issue of Montréal Serai.

 

Vol. 30 No. 4 – January 5, 2018
Theme: The Literature Issue:   Spirit
Submission due date: November 15 or January 15th

The spirit is an indestructible state of non-being. It lingers on, intangible but sensorial. It is not always eternal, but when it is encountered it is imperishable. Being restless, youthful, challenging … being pushy, being inspiring, remaining alive when death has taken its toll—that is spirit. Spirit is courage, guts, fighting the power, speaking truth to power. Spirit could be uncompromising, but it could also be compromising when necessary. Spirit is doing things quietly, unnoticed and yet invoking an indomitable energy for what you believe in.

Spirit is keeping the essence of a subject alive. In war or peace, spirit is spelling out the truth. In controversial times, as now, spirit is uncovering the root cause and not just playing around with the exterior emotions, obvious fatuousness and surface volatility.

Keeping this theme in mind, we are inviting artists, writers, reviewers, poets, musicians and their sidekicks to submit what they would consider à propos. Please note the deadline date of November 15th for the main issue and January 15th for the booster pieces.

The deadline dates are stated above.

 

Themes for this year’s past issues

Vol. 30 No. 2 – June 30, 2017
Theme: Precarious
Submission due date: June 1 and July 15

A substantial number of Montréal Serai’s friends and subscribers find themselves in a precarious state. Once they were full-time employed artists, teachers, translators, trainers, blue and white collar workers. Now they have part-time jobs or contract work. No social coverage, no bargaining rights. Every month and year, they have to hustle for contracts, grants, and limited time assignments. The government announced that last month there were 240,000 jobs created in Canada. What they did not announce was that the majority of the jobs were part-time, temporary jobs. We are living in precarious times. Ever since the advent of globalization, there is a new definition of “jobs.” It is called doing a “gig.”  A lot of people buy into this false predicament as an inevitable state of evolution of the market place and technology.

The precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity. The word itself has only recently crept into dictionaries. It is a portmanteau of proletariat and precarious. It is an unpredictable state, defined by insecurity and lack of continuity. It is a monstrous state of demoralizing the working artists and the poorer sections of the middle class as well as the “deskilled” working class. Neo-liberalism is not just about the export of skilled jobs overseas, it is also about destroying arts and the dissemination of scientific cognizance. It leaves us all in a precarious state. There are so many categories of people affected by the casualization of work, and women, immigrant workers and unskilled workers have been particularly hard hit, historically. And disgruntled white male newer recruits to the precariat seem to be driving a lot of the neo-fascist, anti-immigrant, racist and misogynist movements now, although that may be a whole other discussion. A post on Wikipedia amplifies the meanings associated with the precariat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precariat

We are inviting articles, essays, reviews (films and books) on this new state of the economy and its cultural impact on writers, artists, filmmakers, poets and performers and all those who once had permanent jobs and must now eke out a living.

 

Vol. 30 No. 3 – September 30, 2017
Theme: Unholy Alliances
Submission due date: August 15 or October 15

Unholy Alliances, Puritanism or General Tao Chicken

When does one feel completely committed to an emotion? When does one feel confident about reaching a conclusion? When does a position come out of a pure conviction? When are emotional and political alliances based on compromises or even opportunistic trade-offs? When does an alliance make no sense, even though on the surface it may?

One could be entirely reductionist, and naïve notions of alliances and preferences can either be dismissed or we can build upon puritanical notions of religion, military strategy or politics. Or, we can throw everything into a wok! Cauliflower Mongolian is neither Mongolian, nor Indian but supposedly a favorite at Indian restaurants, just as General Tao’s Chicken is not known by the inhabitants of Changsha, Hunan, but is supposedly of Hunanese cuisine. What “tastes” good is perfectly legitimate and “holy.”

In a recent discussion with one of Serai’s contributors, he cited the example of a neighbour who was gay and feminist and was simultaneously fiercely indépendantiste – somebody who is firmly convinced that Québec’s best interests lie in separating from Canada. Thus, the precept is that this person is not your average conservative. According to our friend, he is a progressive conversationalist, has the Québec flag up on his balcony, as well as the flag of les patriotes.  However, while watching news on the web, he was surprised to find the same neighbour standing on the dais, during a recent rally staged by an Islamophobic group.

There is love and there is hate. Intense love can kindle hatred. There are folks whose crimes are fuelled by love. But in doing so, they propose a religious argument or a social acceptance criteria to build unholy alliances.  In India, certain aboriginal tribes have found reasons to align themselves with extreme Hindu chauvinists against so-called “lower castes” to either “protect cows” or retaliate against those who are known to be scavenger castes! The poor and disinherited have essentially aligned themselves with an illiterate nouveau riche!

In the geo-political context, religious extremists have combined with each other quite openly to thwart adverse possibilities for both. So, the Israeli Mossad have repeatedly protected and supported the Iranian Mujahedden Khalq (once declared as terrorist by the US and Canada) to carry out attacks against the Iranian government. Suddenly, we find the US and its allies bombing sections of Syria in support of the Kurdish YPG, who they once called terrorist. Apparently there is a Taliban A and Taliban B. One you can collaborate with and one you can’t!

If this were not enough, the President of the US of A has signed a mega billion-dollar arms trade agreement with Saudi Arabia, a family-run nation that has been a prime sponsor of terrorism in the US itself and of wars in the immediate region.

In the social context, even in a work environment, the notion of unlikely allies is rampant. Is it because we have no scruples, no purity of emotions and always seek alliances for temporary gains?

We invite submittals on this broad thematic area. We would like to see essays, book reviews, evaluations of art and installations and media appraisals.

 

Guidelines

Montréal Serai is always soliciting new ideas and materials from outside its geographical purview, on arts/culture/politics. Articles should be well written and not exceed 3,000 words.

We accept reviews of all kinds, covering arts, politics, culture, music, literature and film. We also accept political cartoons. We’re open to new information and regard every submission with the utmost respect.

Montréal Serai respects access copyright understanding on intellectual property rights. We do not publish without the permission and acquiescence of the writer.

See Submission Guidelines below.

Submit to: submissions@montrealserai.com

Comments in general: talkback@montrealserai.com

Snail mail:
Montréal Serai
P.O. Box #72,
Succursale NDG
Montréal, Québec
Canada H4A 3P4

 

Submission Guidelines:

Montréal Serai welcomes your own original submissions of prose, poetry or fiction, which may not exceed 3,000 words.  It reserves the right to reject any submission that does not meet its standards or mandate, and will not entertain violent or sexually explicit material or material that does not respect human dignity or that offends minorities on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or personal beliefs.

A maximum of eight photographs will be allowed in the case of visual art in jpeg, pdf and tiff files. Videos should be in mpeg format and compressed. Submissions should be made in the body of the email or in an attachment thereto. Snail-mail submissions are also accepted and must include an email address for acknowledgement and urgent communication. Photographs and texts will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. If the contributor is found to have violated Montréal Serai guidelines, the submission will be withdrawn from the issue.

Montréal Serai is a digital magazine with universal, free access. Readers may request a free subscription for advance notifications. Although the editorial team volunteers its time, it is our priority to pay contributors with the remainder of funds from grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (after operating expenses are taken care of). Ex gratia honoraria are provided at the discretion of the editorial board for accepted and published work.

Although we welcome experiments in language and deliberate lapses, contributions will be subject to rigorous standards of editing.

Submission deadlines are March 1 (push April 15), June 1 (push July 15), September 1 (push October 15) and November 15 (push January 1). Publication begins at the end of those months (or mid-December for the literature issue), with regular updates of articles to the site over the course of the following month.

Kindly send an author’s biography of no more than 25 words. By submitting via email or snail mail, the author is deemed to have accepted Montréal Serai’s terms and conditions. Snail-mail submissions must be signed by the author, otherwise they will not be entertained.

Policies:

By submitting to Montréal Serai, the contributor acknowledges and accepts the following policies.

Copyright ownership:

Copyright on original pieces published at Montréal Serai remains with the contributor, with two provisos:

  1.  If reprinted elsewhere, a note crediting original publication at Montréal Serai should be included.
  2.  Montréal Serai reserves the right to republish the article in the future.  Every attempt will be made to advise the contributor at that time.

Interview guidelines:

  1. Right to refuse interviews:  A person may refuse to participate in a discussion or interview. Montréal Serai does not require that any reason be given.
  2. Interview use: Prior to an interview, the Montréal Serai interviewer must inform the interviewee about the use of the interview. The interviewee will not necessarily be contacted about further uses of the material. However, where possible, the interviewee will be given the chance to review the article prior to publication.
  3. Notification of the start of the interview: The Montréal Serai interviewer must clearly indicate to the interviewee the start of the interview. Material collected from that interviewee before the start of the interview may not be used without prior consent of the interviewee.
  4. Payment to interviewees: Montréal Serai does not pay interviewees.
  5. Disagreement about publication: Once material has been recorded (digitally, by hand, or by other means) by Montréal Serai, final decisions on publication of the material remain at the discretion of Montréal Serai’s editorial board. It is understood that the interviewee has assented to publication of the material by participating in the interview at the time of recording.

Content permanence: 

Our website serves as an archive of the work done by Montréal Serai. Any submission will thus be archived for posterity.

Links: 

Montréal Serai may sometimes provide a link to websites that do not share its editorial view but provide useful insights. Montréal Serai is not responsible for the content on these sites.

Content sharing with other online publications: 

Montréal Serai content may be linked to other organizations or reprinted with the consent of Montréal Serai’s editorial board, providing that full credit and linking to Montréal Serai is included. Rights to the reprinted pieces remain with the author.

Reprints:

Montréal Serai clearly credits other publications when material is reprinted from another source.

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The Writer warrants and represents that:
(i)  all of the Work shall be wholly original, except as to matters within the public domain
(ii) none of the Work shall infringe upon or violate the rights of privacy or publicity of, or constitute defamation against, or violate any common law or any other rights of, any person, firm or corporation.