| FOLIO

INVISIBLE

WEIGHT

CONTENT WARNING: MENTAL HEALTH TRAUMA & EXPERIENCE; SEXUAL VIOLENCE & HARASSMENT

EDITED BY NAIMA YAEL TOKUNOW

In culling the work for this folio, I was reminded of the beautiful and painful and life-affirming ways that we—as femme/womxn of color artists—can take up space in the world with our work. So often, the way that we feel, think, emote, and engage with ourselves, our communities and ancestors, and the world at large (within art and outside of it) is pathologized and othered. Made small and stripped of agency.

 

Here, in the space of the folio, these sixteen artists make no apologies. I am honored to be able to create and hold this space for them, alongside the incredible editing team at Nat. Brut. This was a healing and restorative process for me as an editor and I hope that your experience as a reader leads you to a similar space of wonder, fire, awe, and empathy.

 

While our neurodivergence does not define us, it is a part of us. It is too often silenced, erased, made invisible. We are not afforded the tenderness needed for healing: by others, by ourselves.

 

All of the writers in this project are femmes/womxn of color who live with neurodivergence and their voices are powerful and necessary. Some of them chose to write about their experiences existing with a body that is neurally atypical, some sent in work that focused on their family experiences, others explored a lover’s gaze or their loving gaze on themselves. Their work is emblematic in just one way: Art from femmes/womxn of color who identify as neurodivergent or mentally ill rejects a single narrative. There is no one focus that we are held to, and there is no overarching aim of our work. This folio is a disco ball of topics, no single mirrored face refracts the world in the same way.

 

Invisible Weight demands space for those whose voices are intersectionally marginalized, whose brains and hearts and skin are used as weapons against them. They refuse that weaponization, and this work is labor of their love(s) and ability. What a blessing it is to share in that love. What a cure. A special thanks to each contributor for their trust and labor, and to Kayla and Axel for everything else.

 

—Naima Yael Tokunow