The Stillness We steer towards the peace and quiet—and we write, we compose, we dream, and we share.

Where do we even start?

Perhaps in the dark currents—in this season where fire devours trees, houses, people, and spits ash on windscreens. Maybe with the music, chasing chords, with the pulse of rebellion echoing through notes and rhythms.

What about on the pavement that is lined with restless souls and spirits traversing the streetscapes of the city? Is that a good place to begin? To do that we would have to understand such a place, and there are times we do not. The noise, the bustle, the chaos—sometimes cruel, sometimes strangely kind, crowded and isolating at the same time—maybe cities work when you live on their edges. Just ask the lost and found, and the precedent-setting families who seek to live and love in the mundane.

Who knows?

Do you?

When does solitude become loneliness?

What we do know is this: people are humans before they are anything else. We are not exceptions. We are friends and family, lovers and acquaintances, dreamers and the disappointed—only after these things are we writers, poets, photographers, and illustrators. Our contention with mortality transfigures to compassion.

And because we are people we steer towards the peace and quiet, where art meets science, into the space where time gathers: the stillness.

And we write, we compose, we dream, and we share.

This is Doek!—a literary magazine from Namibia.

Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organisation in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine.

His debut novel The Eternal Audience Of One was first published in South Africa by Blackbird Books and is available worldwide from Scout Press (S&S). His work has appeared in The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, American Chordata, Lolwe, and Granta, among others, with more forthcoming in numerous publications. He won the Africa Regional Prize of the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020 and 2021 and was also longlisted and shortlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prizes respectively. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.

Cover Image: Katherine Hunter.