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Themes for Upcoming Seleda Issues

The Family Feud Issue : May 2002

The Mts Issue : June 2002

The Modernity Issue : July/August 2002

The Family Feud Issue : May 2002

wiy, simun atanshibiN!

meqabirE indatiqomi, meqabirish alqomim!!”

The Ethiopian family feud is as routine as self ina qeTero, as traditional as coffee morning, noon, and night, and as unfortunate as CHirt on a child’s face. Some feuds are so old no one can remember who did what to whom when or why. Some are so fresh that comment on it is part of the family daily discourse. The Ethiopian family tree sports many a fringe branch that you are discouraged to contact or mention, some cursed soul no one wants to acknowledge because he or she harmed the family name in some way, or some imagined injury that has gained size and dimension over the years way out of proportion to its original meaning or intention.

Some seek forgiveness, some seek to forgive, while some are busy fanning the flames of disharmony for sheer entertainment value. Somewhere in the middle are stories that need to be told, that are seeking a voice, or that are begging for some ink space. Well, we here at Seleda are only too happy provide a ready slate for you to memoneCHaCHer your tales of woe and discord, to wax poetic on the philosophy behind the sparks that ignite feuds, or perhaps even to inspire us with your narration of how you were able to cross the chasm of a family rift to shake hands, kiss cheeks, and make friends again of those who are and will always be tied to you by blood.

But first, a small caveat from upper-management (who can be wise beyond their just-graduated-and-am-sitting-pretty-on-dot-com-stocks years): while we want to hear and air your stories, we don’t want to provide new ground for old battles. The intention should not be to disrespect your/our people nor to magaleT anyone for any reason, but to shed new light on an old problem that’s not necessarily unique to our community (can we say, Jerry Springer, children?) and how we can, in certain instances, overcome it.

So, with that, sharpen the ol’ pencils, dust off the ergonomic keyboard, and have a go at it. Submissions are due in by April 15, 2002.

The mTs Issue : May 2002

mTs...It is syllabically singular, expressionally infinite. It is first aid and band aid, compassion displayed, action waylaid. It is contempt and respect. It is understanding and disdain. It is an air sucked, teeth clenched, lips pursed engagement with a person, an act, a dream, an experience. If you are Ethiopian, you have said it, heard it, expressed it or suppressed it. And you have a story about it, from it, with it, or against it. Is it fatalism on display? Compassion in action? Disdainful refrain? We want to hear about it. Your myth on "mTs". Here - by the 20th of May. A picture, story, poem...anything but a singular mTs.

The Modernity Issue : July/August 2002

If you hear some people say it (as they arrive two and a half hours late to a public event), Ethiopia's problem is lack of modernity. Some people will declare (as they pop yesterday's qateNa into the microwave to get it re-crisped) that Ethiopia's problem IS modernity. Some people will insist (as they send off their son to a high school an hour's hoary jog away) that Ethiopia's problem are the modernizers themselves. And some will swear (as they push aside a staggering stack of the people's business on their bureaucrat's desk to make way for a cup of macchiatto), that the Ethiopian people are irredeemably unmodernizable. For this double issue, we first of all want to extract out of you those compelling stories of modernity gedls, such as; "The gedl of The First Person to Wear European Shoes in My Town", or "The gedl of The Encounter with an ATM Machine", or "The gedl of When My Breasts Became Sexual Things", or "The gedl of Explaining the Idea of a Flower Garden to My Country Relations Coming to Visit Us in Addis". And secondly, we invite you to pontificate on this topic. Is modernity being western? What do you lose on the road to being modern? Does Abebech's kitchen modernity extend to the bedroom (you wonder)? Were we all taught to be "modern", or simply to reject what is ours and to covet the white man's ways? And finally, the mother of all questions, "The Gap" opens a franchise on the third floor of a new fifty-story building in Addis... Is that modernity? Discuss, think, intellectualize, dissect and synthesize. Do whatever you have to do to get us something topical, enjoyable and stimulating by June 20.


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