A Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Thank you for picking up a copy of Bellezine 2020.

We decided to title Bellezine by the year it was published, setting precedent for the issues to come. But as time went by, I felt apprehensive about this decision. We poured so much work and effort into this issue. All the student editors worked together to consider what the tone of Bellezine was and what we wanted to see in what we built from scratch. I did not want our creation to be marred by the numbers “2020.”

I don’t think any one of us could have imagined what the year 2020 would entail when the clock ticked over to 12:00 am on January 1st. Personally, I was looking forward to the year that would mark the first time my age would start with a “2” since hitting double-digits. But, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the world feels like it is falling apart at the seams.

I belong to the generation that despises phone calls and all communication is done with text messages. Despite that, I never thought that the way all people communicate would change with COVID-19. Now, more than ever, communication through technology is paramount. And despite the disaster that 2020 has been, we’re releasing Bellezine. Courtesy of our designers, this issue has text boxes like you would see in a chat to represent page numbers, titles, authors, and more. We’d like it to represent the times we are going through, no matter how difficult it may be.

In editing Bellezine, I encountered things I never thought I would struggle with. COVID-19 was one of those things. Trying to put together a zine is surprisingly difficult when you can’t see your fellow editors in person. The other was getting defunded along with other small arts programs on campus. It was not only heart-breaking to see this happen to a program that I hold dear, but also to see other small programs all over campus defunded and ultimately devalued. The last was seeing and living through a historic event, watching the words fly onto the pages of a history book with George Floyd’s death. As I’m writing this, I hope history will turn out in our favor. #BlackLivesMatter

I believe Bellezine is a medium students can use to hear the voices of their peers and share their own voice if they so want to. Especially when we’re in difficult times. Especially when it feels like our voices are being silenced every way we turn. I hope that this zine is both an escape and a learning experience.

The work here is the manifestation of the voices of the students of Bellevue College, whether currently attending or alumni. And while this may seem intimidating–seeing the polished work of students published into a professional zine–the voices who contributed to the making of this zine are people. People just like you and me, making their voices heard. You may be reading and think that your voice is small and that your thoughts aren’t anything someone else hasn’t said before. I want this to be an invitation to anyone reading this; it isn’t and they aren’t. Your voice is unique and we want the opportunity to publish it. I find pride in the fact that I’m putting my time and effort into a platform that my peers can express themselves in.

Finally, with the last piece of this zine, lose yourself in Josh Kutzke’s “Phone” like you’ve probably done with your own phone before.

We’d like the last line of his poem to represent the feelings we have for 2020.

I hope that this zine helps you take the steps to make your voice
heard and I hope we’ll be around for a long time so your voices can be heard.

Yejin Franchesca Seong
Head Editor, Bellezine 2020