By Orietta Fitzsimmons

‘Memento Mori’, the 7th edition of ANU’s intersectional feminist magazine Bossy, was released on 7 May – five months after it was originally scheduled for publish in October 2021.  The delays have been attributed to COVID-19 restrictions in place last year. 

The long-awaited launch was held at aMBUSH Gallery in Kambri and retained the original date’s ‘spooky’ theme. Excitement for the release was evident at the launch, with Editor-in-Chief Cinnamone Winchester describing it as “surreal”. 

“The fact that it’s been an entire year in production and now it’s over… [it’s] a little bit sad but okay… it’s almost like my baby.”

The theme of this edition, ‘Memento Mori’, translates from Latin to “remember death”. The magazine explores the concept of mortality through a range of written and visual mediums, through the works of over 60 contributors, amounting to 128 pages.

The edition’s variety may be attributed in part to the ‘Bossy Contributors’ Group’ on Facebook, where all ANU female and non-binary students and alumni may submit contributions, and currently has over 800 members. 

At the launch, Maya and Lucy – both Women’s Department Members – praised the page’s accessibility when talking to Observer, stating “that you don’t have to be like some crazy talented writer” to feel comfortable contributing. Maya thought this enhanced the content’s authenticity, saying “people were actually writing down the truth of something they have lived and [reading it] I think ‘yeah oh my god that’s the same as me.’”

The personal nature of the authors’ work was highlighted by contributor Myka Davis who performed a reading of her essay, ‘maybe memory is all the home we’re allowed’, that reflects on her experience of liminal identities and belonging. 

Speaking beforehand, she said she felt “excited, [but] quite nervous,” describing hers “as a very personal piece” that confronted the “daunting reality” of the theme. Regarding the delay in publication, she felt “although it was just kind of a pain in the arse, it was worth it.”

ANU Women’s Officer Avan Daruwalla praised the magazine as “pushing intersectional forward”, stating Bossy’s value comes from its direct relevance to the lived experiences of intersectional women and non-binary people. Cinnamone Winchester hopes ‘Memento Mori’ presents a “genuine diversity” of perspectives, diverging from her perception of “feminism, especially university feminism [having a] sort of reputation [of] being a little white-centric.” She says she has made concerted efforts to amplify the voices of intersectional women and non-binary people for the magazine, and has been “blown away” by the diversity of contributors. As a result, Winchester believes ‘Memento Mori’ “really accurately reflects” ANU’s female and non-binary collective. 

Seeing this diversity, Winchester feels “hopeful for the future”. While she is “not happy with feminism now… ANU is full of great women and great non-binary people and it does give me hope what feminism will look like 5, 10, 20 years”.                                              

With ‘Memento Mori’ finally published, Bossy is looking to the future. Winchester promised the theme for Bossy’s next edition, to be released in the coming weeks, “will be just as fun as this one,” hinting it as “potentially even the flip side of ‘Memento Mori’”. She seeks to encourage anyone with “a passion for creating to reach out”, saying “we will always have a place for you and your stories.”

Copies of the current edition will be available for purchase from a Bossy stall in Kambri on 17 May. 

 

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