Time to move away from familiar, predictable and safe zones... Time to be reminded that recent feminist thinkers have celebrated pleasure, creativity and joy in thinking about freedom (Audre Lorde); multiple political freedoms (Alice Walker, as a womanist), different sites of freedom (bell hooks).
State consolidation, neo-imperialism and mainstreaming relentlessly prescribe what can and should be said in the name of "freedom". Nationally, feminism's been reduced to a "development issue". Rather than informing our visions, it's been tamed, packaged and tacked onto policy documents, human resource management programmes, lists of criteria for pc employment, politicians' speeches. In the place of expansive visions, we end up with sterile pronouncements - ultimately aimed at reinforcing the status quo.
Globally, a mounting feminist backlash, reinforced by a general US-driven conservativism, is increasingly using media misrepresentation to portray feminism as obsolete, something that women did way back then to get them into the positions of conventional power they have now.
Academic talk about freedom is often constrained by jargon: feminist theorising about shifting and fluid positionalities and multiple identities is sometimes curiously devoid of human and personal relevance.
This issue offers reflections, expressions of pleasure, irreverence, and creativity that open up worlds for us to think about, new ways for us to think about them. Future issues will return to this theme; here's a start...