Today Kajal Magazine turns three years old and I can scarcely believe it! I’ve said before when I set out to start Kajal I didn’t have a firm idea in mind for what it would be. I collected about ten articles from people I admired and put them on a blog site. In those first months we saw the hit count go up slowly and then all at once! People were sharing our stories, our articles, and our poems across social media. Kajal was beginning to become the space it was destined to be–a home for the global South Asian diaspora to share their art and opinions. We began to receive submissions for readers and our staff grew to two, me and our now Deputy Editor Fatima Zehra. The two of us put our heads together and charted a course forward for this young upstart magazine. We did not know what to expect only what we wanted to achieve.
And now, three years later, I can say with certainty that we are still uncertain of what to expect but our goals are at the forefront of our minds. We have a vision, and piece by piece we are achieving it.
This past year you saw us make some big moves–we launched the first printed lit mag for the South Asian diaspora, Kajal partnered with Quartz, the Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Homegrown, and Scroll to share our work with a wider global audience, some of our pieces went viral and landed us panel spots on NowThis and Roundhouse Radio, we added two new editors to our team, and we started our Kajal Artist Residency to showcase the work of one up-and-coming South Asian artist every year. We have also put out even more of the pieces you love, like photo essays, art features, interviews, and poetry. And we’re still growing!
In this coming year we plan to do even more. Keep an eye out as we venture into podcasts and audio storytelling. We’ll also be opening up a jobs and submissions page to make it even easier to join our project. And, of course, we’ll be releasing the second volume of our lit mag. We intend to make good on the faith and love you’ve poured into Kajal and make this project altogether more.
Thank you for sticking with us so far. Thank you for all the emails you send us and for the comments you leave. You have been so fundamental to our growth and development as a publication and we appreciate you for that. From up here, 2018 is looking full of opportunity and possibility.