Grounding Aspect

An Armour X Colour Collaboration
Colleen Avila

Liberty and soil bleed the same fertile brown; neither is owned, but maintained – loved, raked through, kissed and fought for, rained on, turned into spirits. Both are our livelihood. Both are owed to us. Brown earth freedom will always be revived where it has been lost…

I suppose that we all have different definitions of freedom.

Here liberation is space. Liberation is reclamation. More than that, it’s fun, rest, finally, no more wild west colonizer cowboys, city slicker slimy businessmen. Here we are powerful, not finally, but visibly. This all has been ours this whole time. With brown as our grounding aspect, we explore reclamation of these two figures and fashions which brown and Black people have been disremembered or unincluded from in the white American imaginary.

Vignettes in Sepia
Ahmed Motiwala

brown skin, brown eyes, brown bodies
gloomy nights spent huddled in cozy quarters
no longer, star-crossed lovers, never meant to be
maybe they meet again in another lifetime

brown soil, brown seeds, brown bodies
saplings spring forth, burgeoning life 
from dirt comes flesh and blood
and to the earth it will all return

brown leaves, brown papers, brown bodies
gently rolled up, bound tightly in wraps
lips pressed and flames sparked
the smoke is all a façade

brown books, brown pages, brown bodies
the Seeker of Truth peers relentlessly
through volumes, cover to leathery cover
all Knowledge resides within them

brown bodies, brown bodies, brown bodies
history built upon their backs and of their brow
sent back to Mothers to fight for Fathers in a
bloody divorce. the Children of God are all orphans.

La Iglesia
Milo Santiago

la iglesia stands empty now,
and her cobblestone courtyard would lie barren if not for the ahuehuete trees,
whose branches are embraced tenderly by slender vines even as their roots struggle 
against cracked and aged pavement 
which serves both as a suffocation and as the path from 
earth to hell to damnation to sanctity
and back
to where the ahuehuete wait, 
the old men of the water,
eternal sentinels of Eden’s garden.

where Sunday after service was once punctuated by vendors’ cries of prices baratos and tapestries bellezas ringing throughout the pueblo
and city-life noises, inca doves cooing from atop sun-faded gazebos 
and passersby grasping their children by the hand as they signal for un taxi, 
the stray dog lapping sticky sweetness melting from a forgotten paleta,
paper kites drifting lazily across the skyline and observed by old men peeling ripe mangoes on a bench.
in the evening, music from mariachi bands overflowed into the streets, 
and children and couples would begin to dance.

a bronze statue, jesus lies prostrated on the ground–
yet his gaze is pointed towards the heavens, and his silence is challenged
only by the sun, el sol, golden rays glancing off of brown metal
and brown bodies, into brown eyes and across brown weathered hands which belong to
mi mama y mi abuela, whose lips form the same prayer whispered breathlessly
to a hollow god in an empty square.

Creative Direction Jonah Thornton, Colleen Avila, and Izzy Jefferis
Words Colleen Avila, Ahmed Motiwala, and Milo Santiago
Photographs Anika Kumar, Anjali Reddy
Editor Nisha Mani
Stylists Thulan Unsoeld, Faith Phillips, Noor Bekhiet
Featuring Lu Folsey, Jared Wilson, Nafkot Seife, Faith Phillips

Armour Magazine Season 26 — S/S 2021

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