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Graphic Novels

Reflections on Belonging

The Vilnius Review begins to publish a cycle of essays called "Reflections on Belonging". Lithuanian writers and writers of Lithuanian origin will write about literature, translation, language, gender, identity and belonging.
Are we, as poet and translator Rimas Uzgiris puts it, "post-colonial, post-identity, post-home"? Or do we belong somewhere? Is language our only home? What does it mean to write - in one language, in two, in several languages? What is lost in translation? How does mobility and migration affects our life and literature?
These and other themes will be reflected upon by different writers, translators and essayists.

"Reflections on Belonging" is sponsored by association LATGA.



Photo by Sam Boyd
The dangers accumulated in the process of translation are very real, and yes, hitting a patch of ice or a dumpster or smacking your head on the concrete are very accurate metaphors to describe them. While I was reading between languages and thinking how they should theoretically be translated into each other, it somehow never occurred to me that I would end up practically translating them.

by Kotryna Garanašvili

Photo by Jurga Urbonaitė

by Zigmas Pakštaitis

Photo by Michelle Playoust
The nostalgia that you experience when you’re at home was granted a new definition in the twenty-first century—that of solastalgia. Solastalgia is a longing for home when you are home but when that home of yours has irreversibly changed. This recent term is used to describe our new condition: a spiritual, emotional, and existential discomfort brought on by the circumstances we live in.

By Akvilina Cicėnaitė Charles

Photo by Ronnie Sat
COVID-19 is pointing us all in the same direction – evolution. We’re invited to question if we want to belong to the past; to return to pre-virus normal, a normal that many agree is broken. Or do we belong to the future? Imagining our world anew. Do we evolve or repeat?

By Kristina Dryža

Photo by Alex Chapman
I am frantic with searching.
                    I fear I will never find what I seek.
                    I find only younger versions of people I cannot have known,
                    people whose lost youth I mourn as if it were mine;
                    for whose losses I must somehow compensate.

By Francesca Jūratė Sasnaitis

Photo by Birutė Ona Grašytė
I have no documents; I am a citizen of time. I’m unemployed, I don’t believe in occupation. I claim a current but no currency. I pledge allegiance only to the grass beneath each cow. My visa is my father’s father’s watch; its digits are my social security number.

By Malachi Black

Illustration by Ūla Šveikauskaitė. She is one of the artists' from the community "Artists With Belarus", which solidarize with people of Belarus peacefully fighting against the regime.
No political activist funded by a Western democracy project has managed to inspire the nation in this way. It took one woman’s courage to awaken the Belarusian people from complacency.

By Laima Vince

Photo by author
The universe was amazing, the way it worked, all parts of it, the largest and the tiniest, was magic. At night, laying in my bed, I would try to imagine how vast the universe is, endless. That it had no boundaries was very hard to comprehend. I would send my soul onto a flight, with the speed of light and even faster, out there in space and try to reach the end of the universe. I never succeeded. It was a sure-proof method to fall asleep fast.

By Saulius Tomas Kondrotas


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