An ode to fusion.
Our own stories came together in a flurry of colour and culture – a British novelist exploring her Pakistani roots through her craft, a nonfiction writer born Cuban yet raised in America reflecting on immigration and identity, a Scottish poet from Edinburgh using her country’s heritage as inspiration for her work, and an Indian editor and writer navigating between her career in publishing and writing fiction – we are united by our need to create.
Searching for what connects us in purpose, place and time, we were drawn to the image of a wild, untamed being emerging from the unseen depths of the ocean – the selkie, whose myth has been passed down through generations in Scotland – the place where we met and decided to create a literary website together.
Selkies are creatures of ancient lore, who swim in water as seals yet have the ability to transform into humans and walk on land, and thus reveal their dual nature. By shedding their skins, selkies give in to the joy and freedom of expression by singing and dancing on the coarse sand beneath their feet, underneath a full moon.
However, when selkies first emerge from the waves, they make sure to hide their pelts in order to protect them – for without their seal skins, they would never be able to return to their native home.
Their story resonates today, for it is these ‘skins’ that underrepresented individuals wear and shed as our circumstances change – at times a burden, but mostly a gift that unfortunately is not always recognised. And this is how we must live, out in the world, every single day – attempting to express our dual natures and being careful not to lose an essential part of ourselves in the process.
The Selkie aims to support and nurture voices from diverse and often marginalised backgrounds by welcoming submissions and promoting the work of underrepresented* authors and artists.
We remain united in providing a space for stories that reach underneath our skins, where our shared humanity exists.
Huriyah T. Quadri, Lis Mesa, Chelsea Welsh & Sonali Misra