Craft Desert #5 (Volume 3 issue 1) was completed in July of 2020. Four months into the Covid-19 pandemic. It felt simultaneously inappropriate and cathartic to publish an issue entitled “Games”, during what was proving to become a uniquely horrible year moment in history. In a way, it was difficult not to read the works contained within this fantastic issue through the lens of this moment, and we feel that our contributors accomplished something momentous: they pulled us briefly into another world (something much needed), and provided a new context within which to frame our shared anxieties.
In Issue 5:
- Diana Benavidez takes us into the world of her artwork that is based in the magical world of Piñata, in “Piñatas Breaking Barriers”. Her work utilizes this ubiquitous format of piñata-making, to address social and political issues. She interrogates this object of celebration and joy as one of resistance, destruction, Mockery, and the subversion of tradition. Topics from border politics, to gender inequities, and much more are represented in her colorful paper creations.
- Jennifer Navva Milliken’s “Catch Me In Your Backyard, Playing Croquet” investigates the colonial histories and contemporary status of what has become an innocuous lawn game and banal pastime, in the broader American consciousness and in popular media. Milliken looks at the games history while examining the objects of gameplay, the gameset, the mallets, the balls, the kits. She asserts that croquet, in the time of physical distancing and limited social interaction, may be the perfect game to bring us together while keeping us apart. Croquet’s racial histories, colonial development, and current place in society are all explored in this wonderfully in-depth piece.
- Guest Writer, Daniel Fuller’s “A Way Of Life”, tells the story Alfie Jacques, an Onondaga lacrosse stick-maker, who has carries on an ancient tradition of stick-making just as his father did, in Upstate New York. Daniel tells the story of the birth of Lacrosse, and how one of these sticks comes into the world, through Alfie’s hands. Daniel tells this story as a lifelong lacrosse player and lover of the game and its histories, and weaves the history of the game into his own story and life growing up in Syracuse New York.
- Finally, our de-facto in-house cartoonist, Micah Bornstein gives us his “Colossus Comics: No Baseball”, a mysterious little comic that contemplates our love of sport and current disconnection from the things that generally bring us joy.