Taneum Bambrick hangs old copies of Labyrinth for inspiration for this year's theme, "Beyond the body." Photo by Cade Schmidt//AS Review.

Guest column

Since the late 1970s, many radicals within the Western community have utilized the feminist journal, Labyrinth, as an outlet for their personal expression. Recently adopted by the Associated Students Women’s Center, an office within the Resource and Outreach Programs, Labyrinth has flourished into a powerful mechanism through which strength can be achieved and shared. With encouraging and inclusive themes such as 2011’s, “The Grey Areas of Identity” and 2010’s, “Intersections of Identity,” previous editors and artists have brought their multifaceted experiences into the public eye. By giving the community access to their stories and images, these artists create an atmosphere of healthy sharing of real issues that need to be addressed.

This year, Labyrinth will continue to be a safe, wide-ranging vessel for empowerment with a feminist focus. In the realm of feminist issues, the body continues to be both symbolically and literally the site of discrimination, abuse and oppression. A single individual could be victimized by sexual assault, racism, issues of gender identity, sexism, physical or mental disabilities and many other aspects of their body. Because feminism works toward helping individuals transcend these and other issues concerning the physical form of being that is so often exploited, the decided theme for 2012 is “Beyond the Body.” All students, faculty and staff within the Western community are strongly encouraged to share their relevant experiences, no matter their gender identity. Any medium of art that can be printed such as poetry, photography, painting or graphic design is acceptable. If an individual wishes to express themselves through song or dance – this is also something that can be accommodated at the Labyrinth VU Gallery showing.

If this opportunity speaks to you or anyone that you know, please utilize it — your words can and will make a difference.

If you wish to submit to Labyrinth, or have any questions to ask regarding the journal, do so by emailing me at ASLabyrinth@wwu.edu. Submissions will be due before winter break (an exact deadline will be set within the next few weeks).