Isis and Osiris

By: Sakina Alia

Bryn Mawr College, PA, USA

all the soldier wanted was a wife

but brideprice

too high without a pot to piss

ISIL (formerly known as ISIS—defamation of a GODDESS)

ISIL knows this

promise                         $$$


.if the soldier will fight.

— but when it is clear he is living to die killing as he kisses suicide he is given a Yazidi “bride”

and another

and another

and another

and another

                                                                                      at what price

and Isis wept

and Isis worked

and Isis wept

and Isis worked

and Isis wept

the Yazidi fight

true brides

Isis brought the dead back to life                            

                                                                  “oh Allah she is your throne”


Artist Statement for Isis and Osiris

Born of earth and sky, the Egyptian goddess Isis shows us that strength does not preclude feeling: an essential reminder as women transition into selfhood. Isis is here invoked to reclaim a name that has been sullied, while also serving as a reminder that mourning is a profound part of the process of empowerment, as it is in numbness that we are truly lost. It was up to her to restore the world when everything was ripped to pieces, and this was not a process without profound pain, a pain she was not afraid to show. As for the Yazidi and Kurdish women fighting against ISIL, they are not just tasked with restoring destroyed worlds within and without; many are directly confronting violence as soldiers themselves. The poem “Isis and Osiris” expresses that when tradition is upheld over what is natural and loving, our humanity is more easily degraded and we become numb. When this happens, we must fight like the Yazidi and Kurdish women to reclaim our humanity, because in states of numbness, humans are reduced to bodies, figments, and payments. Women’s transition into selfhood requires a reflection on the violence we have suffered, strength from the past, as well as creative new visions for humanity, as the old, however inspiring, may still keep us in cycles of subservience and domination.
As an artist and scholar, sakina seeks to unite facts with truth so that women’s transition into selfhood can be both fortified and tender. sakina earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Creative Writing from Bryn Mawr College, an M.A. in Religion and Literature from Yale Divinity School’s Institute of Sacred Music, and has been selected as a Mellon Mays, Fulbright, and Yale-China Fellow. As an artist, her work has been featured at the Camra Screening Scholarship Media Festival at the University of Pennsylvania, National Sawdust in Brooklyn, the Yale Off Broadway Theater, Yale Edgewood Gallery, and the Self-Organized Performance Biennial on Art and Politics in Athens, Greece.

Eve’s Shame

Farhat Rahman ’13

Eve’s Shame is a found footage video showcasing the repercussions of the eve teasing epidemic in South Asia and how Bollywood imagery propagates these modes of assault. “Eve teasing” is a euphemism used in Bangladesh and India for public sexual harassment of women by men, where the woman is in some way liable for the behavior of the perpetrator. Eve’s Shame highlights how Bollywood images have been presented to South Asian cultures, and it attempts to turn expressions of Bollywood culture against itself through revealing scenes.

The Background Radiation of My Non-existent Sex Life

Stephanie Marrie

I look up Mom’s posters
And see my dream cities–
Roma and Paris.
Which of these two is the true city of love?
Maybe Roma, cuz backwards it’s Amor

Suddenly 6:10 p.m. snaps me out of it.
I’ve got to catch dinner,
but the Hot Wall tempts me.

Sexy is just a naked bod, right?
Then why is the hottest pic
Just two people snogging?
The true definition of EROS

I wish I could be like them
though I’d feel very sore
I never even looked at a boy
So why have I devolved from adult
to hormonal Looney Tune?

right before I enter the cafeteria, I am repulsed by the sight of
Vagina Monologues

Haffner is strangely lacking today
baloney sags
spotted bananas
unsweet milk
My bod ain’t satisfied.

I may go to town,
Fuji Mountain’s soft white nipple beckons me so.
So do the star-crossed at Starbucks!
I would go to the Lusty Cup
But there is nothing lusty about it.
Just like Haffner.


Molly Fessler

they welcomed us to the city, so we took that as the sign, the divine right granted by, given to citizens of the world.
you are mine and i am yours.
we bought dates, ran through alleys, into spouts of streams of water that
cleaned the streets
lanes where figs blushed in the sun,
unloaded by worn hands on flat trays
we walked until our shoes yelled.
the oranges unpeeled each day,
do you remember, boarding the bus, tugging sand from socks and then
into tulips, gathering the folds of its cup around as silk as smooth as gold sparks
that flaked from the static of the radio.
the power, the pulse, when my hand takes yours to cross a bridge
over Bosporus or Jordan.
we swam through waves made by seas Black and Dead, cradled each other
as fevers rose when miles grew.
we came to the city and pulled the concert posters off the walls.
we came to the city and danced.