By Varyanne Sika
[F]eminist thought and imagination are permeating the work of some scholars but this influence, among the present generation of scholars, remains relatively rare. (Pereira, 2002: 27)
The Wide Margin (TWM) is a digital journal of feminist thinking on matters thought to be important by its writers, who are of African descent. The journal’s focus is nonfiction critical writing, but it allows room for poetry and for illustrations (both artistic representations of essays and a comic strip). The Wide Margin is a title inspired by bell hooks’ book, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center and its allusion to the fact that women generally form the majority of people living on the margins of society. “Wide” also alludes to the intention of the publication to include as many different voices and ideas on feminism as there are readers of online writing. While contributors to the journal are strictly of African descent, located anywhere in the world, the primary target audiences are young feminists and non-feminists of all genders who are interested in reading feminist thought by contemporary African feminists.
The Wide Margin came into being in October 2014 in Nairobi; its inaugural issue, Feminist While African, was published online in July 2015. Our first issue — which comprised six pieces and an editorial — was one of the most fulfilling things I had ever worked on. Publishing it marked not only the first and most difficult step in beginning such a monumental project (to us), it also marked the beginning of a learning process, meeting brilliant feminist writers and readers, and the beginning of an unexpected ripple effect (however tiny the ripples).