\ kän-tahk-tohs \ Early 17th century: from Latin contactus, from contact- ‘touched, grasped, bordered on’, from the verb contingere, from con- ‘together with’ + tangere ‘to touch’. Contact (n.)
As communities across the world succumb to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are placed in an exasperating bind between our desire to intervene, to do something in the face of the current health / medical / political / economic / cultural / human rights catastrophe, and the seeming impossibility of doing so amidst a global lockdown that forecloses the very modes of contact upon which many of our abilities to intervene rely. In this time of perilous proximities, HemiPress, the Hemispheric Institute’s editorial imprint, will publish critical reflections (1,000-3,000 words) by leading theorists, activists, and artists, that engage in meaningful deliberations about the urgencies wrought bare by the calamity before us. [ConTactos] features short texts that arrest power, expose inequalities and violence, and model alternative proximities for the present and the future. Published and preserved by HemiPress, contributions to this multilingual series will circulate widely and free of charge.