It feels amazing that we are holding this magazine in our hands and that you are reading these first lines! We have noticed that we rarely read editorials ourselves - but the urge to write one here now is hard to hold back. Probably to justify ourselves, to explain, to make comprehensible all the things that really shouldn't need an explanation. But unfortunately there is not enough space for that.
We, Doro, Lea, Elena and Laura, have different interests and experiences, but we are all connected by our studies of Peace and Conflict Studies in Marburg and our enthusiasm for the written word. And friendship.
UNEINS is an attempt to initiate new debates and to enrich and diversify existing discourses in the range of topics spanning the complex of peace and conflict. With UNEINS, we want to create an intersection between academic, practising, artistic and activist discourses and voices, and contribute to anchoring the peace policy movement also in the younger generation.
When we concretised our idea for UNEINS at the first meetings in October 2020, we could only roughly guess what questions and challenges we would be confronted with. However, it was clear to us fairly quickly that we would be faced above all with the challenge of dealing with our own role and position in the editing, curation and production of knowledge. Finding the topic for the first issue was therefore the least of our problems. With the title " Contested Knowledge" we want to raise all those questions that arise with regard to what is commonly regarded as knowledge - and at the same time direct our gaze towards peace and conflict research. For processes of knowledge production are never free of power relations.
We also see the topic of critical knowledge production as a learning process for us as magazine newbies and constant learners. For a long time we talked about how to make the magazine as collective as possible and yet keep it within our capacities (which, unsurprisingly, it never was). We want to break new ground at the intersection of academic, essayist, activist and artistic knowledge production. In March 2021, we received over 30 ideas for contributions in response to our Call for Contributions, a selection of which you can see here. It was important for us to select a diverse range of contribution formats that also relate to critical knowledge production and deal with peace and conflict. The selection was not easy at all! After the contributions were submitted in April, we then set off on the adventurous journey of a collaborative review process in which we and the authors were both allowed and obliged to learn from each other in countless feedback loops over a period of three months.
In the same vein, we also want to critically reflect on our publication process with UNEINS. The big question that has preoccupied us for some months now is which issues and positions are not covered, who have we never reached and who have never found us? Our learning process is just about to start and with this issue in your hands you will become bearers of this journey. If you have suggestions for this process or would like to be part of it, please write us!
During the editing and publication process, three topics were particularly present for us:
1. Diversity: We are four young white cis women and were not surprised to see that for the Call for Contributions we received almost exclusively proposals from people with female-read names. So what implications does the composition of the editorial team have for the selection of articles and for topic setting and issue design? As the year progresses, we will continue to look in depth at critical publishing and the role of the editorial board in this process of knowledge production.
2. Language: We have decided to have both English and German articles in this issue, but not to translate them for reasons of limited space. We are aware that this decision is a major compromise from the point of view of accessibility, because even the focus of academic text production on English and German is a hegemonic product.
3. Payment: To this day, we cannot guarantee our authors that they will receive any compensation for their texts and consider this to be a major weakness of UNEINS. But is a project without secured funding doomed to fail from the beginning? At first we thought it would be easier for us to work to prevent this situation, but over the past year it has also become increasingly clear to us that this deficiency runs through the entire publishing world - from feminist online journalism to academic publishing. But even if fair remuneration is so unusual in this field that it is not even expected of the authors, we are not willing to give in. This magazine can and will only exist with financial compensation for our writers. For this we are counting on your Help .