So… I think we can all agree that the summer just gone was a strange one.
Like anyone else, it would be easy for us to write up our letter and harp on about the Rubik’s Cube of who is allowed where at any one time, or a €9 meal becoming the golden ticket to buy a pint.
But all joking aside, we somehow managed to keep going.
We both have wondered what we feel the function of OTwo could be this year, even if our letter is something you glide past whilst scrolling through Facebook, with your phone hidden below your lecturer's Zoom view scape.
Normally, we want to reflect where our collective attention has chosen to seat itself, comfortably or uncomfortably. But our personal experiences over the past few months may have found us all focusing on the soft lines of familiarity in our favourite song, bucolic details of our favourite landscape, our friend’s face frozen in laughter on a Zoom call, or Wet Ass Powerscourt steps - all of these personal moments of observation may feel difficult to communicate, inciting a kind of shyness as we slowly and gently enter the wider world.
But gathered and celebrated here, we believe that they can collectively soothe and prepare us for the unknown that is before us. It makes sense then, that in this issue we have found ourselves analysing online expression. From social media pioneers, to online game nights. All of these moments can be captured, shared and saved in our memories, providing strength when we need it most.
Although we have welcomed ‘uncertainty’ so readily in to our vocabulary, an unfortunate certainty in our world is the diminishing of sexual assault cases, both insitutionally and within the world at large. The release of Aoibheann Ni Shuilleabhain’s experience of sexual harassment whilst working on-campus and the treatment of her case reflects not only UCD’s mentality towards sexual assault, but the larger world’s devaluing of identifying individuals and sufferers of trauma.
OTwo enters back this year, in whatever capacity that may be, offering support and a space for expression.
As we travel through newly unfamiliar streets or corridors, Sinead’s piece on the Spire’s history feels salient. A city landmark that was built before many of us were born, it’s presence is felt but it’s personal history may be unknown. It is an object that many of us never may have thought much about: it’s structural attributes, it’s reflective surface on a rare sunny day, or it’s function as a meeting point and a great connector. But through the physical distance Sinead experienced from this landmark during lockdown ,she found herself missing it’s visible toothpick-esque point as she’d enter the City Centre, or the metallic hug she would receive, whilst leaning on it and waiting for a friend.
They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, so let’s recapture this year and say that we are all in one, big and beautiful long distance relationship.
With lots of love, blood sweat and tears,
Andy and Ellen.