Desire Lines

A digital check-in

Photo of Nnennia Chikaodili
3 11

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instagram: @nnennia

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

In what bell hooks described as a neo-colonial white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, we are often left with ephemera: wisps of awareness and tradition that have made place and space for us. However, people of color—because our histories (memories) have been forcefully fragmented, dislocated, diminished and rewritten—must testify to our experiences within our communities. We must find community that will bear witness to our exertion and lovingly engage in re-memory and healthy speculative exercise. Desire Lines will be a digital zine experience that does just that. It was wrought out of a meditation on aspects of basic design. Sometimes it is important to acknowledge the whimsy of an often trudged path through the grass, rather than stick to the sidewalk. I believe that in the moments that we indulge our desire we are much closer to our authentic selves. Desire Lines will be FUBU!

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Desire Lines was largely wrought out of my frustration about the space between what we are able to articulate, and the truth of our desires. I think its important for my generation to link up and make time to cultivate ways of being that examine how the ways in which we are embodied in an encounter shape our interpersonal relationships, the way we consume contemporary discourse, and the ways that encounters are essential to Becoming.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

FUBU! Desire Lines will emphasize praxis, and as a digital check-in of sorts, it is a way for immigrant kids, nonbinary folx, dreamers, healers, and scholars to connect. Desire Lines will feature interviews from up and coming artists, it will be a space for gesture and ephemera, and ultimately it will be an invitation to meditate and participate in fostering community.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

I want to flip the script and invite artists to interview contributing authors. I think it will be a practice in being introspective and intentional. I want someone to ask me: what do you bind? why do you bind? And I'll answer: Sometimes my hair. I bind my right knee daily because the moon tides the waters there, and gravity has made me quite heavy. I want to ask a doctor why we should get on the dancefloor. I want to Desire Lines to receive submissions, have a podcast segment, release a physical zine one week, and feature #soundcloudartists that are up-and-coming and actually very compelling! I want twenty-somethings to feel heard without tuning in to Instagram! I want gender nonconforming folx to feel safe and welcome.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

X Factor: No toxic masculinity!!! With Desire Lines we will engage in our manifestations. This digital zine will truly aid in our own liberation as Black, POC, nonbinary, and immigrant beings born into precarity but seeking joy in spite of it. We will use this space as a means of invoking different temporalities as resistance, and looking for possibility in storytelling and memory; engaging in work that honors speculative fiction and recollective memory as an avenue to understand our Beings through lived experience.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Desire Lines in in the idea-stage, but it already means so much to someone like me who is looking for a way to engage in contemporary discourse in ways that are healthy. I want to foster a community in which historically marginalized creatives, activists, scholars, and healers can thrive!

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I am working on a physical zine!!

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

I am collaborating with my brother to create or find a digital platform that can sustain a multimedia zine concept. I also envision having an office, recording equipment, and sponsors who support our vision.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I would love to partner with a mentor who does similar work or work that I admire. I am drawn to Yagazie Emezi, a documentary photographer from Aba, Nigeria; this is incidentally the village my mother is from!! She creates images that really capture embodiment and explore the space between tension and grace. I want to partner up with my musically inclined friends to feature their mixtapes and ask them about their process, and how far away they are from home. I want Desire Lines to grow with me!

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jean Black

Hi, I love the energy and purpose of your enterprise! It would be great to stay in contact, either to support or collaborate, I would be happy to see your progression. Please email me if interested in staying in touch.

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