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Introduction to the Sacred/Faith Issue

We’re living in a time where political and social systems are collapsing, climate catastrophe is accelerating, the pandemic continues, and it’s harder now, more than ever, to imagine a future that is worth living for. But we’re all still here, grasping at life, because we have faith in something beyond us. There is something sacred holding us here. What are we holding on for? What keeps us moving forward?

For this issue of GLYPHÖRIA, I reached out to artists whose work, and determination to continue, I admire. I wanted to know, from each artist, what that abstract, ethereal thing is that keeps them tethered to life and the idea of a life beyond. Whether that be God, love, art, family, community, social systems, religious practice, or a personal relationship with another, I wanted to find work that recognizes that everything is falling apart but there’s something sacred that keeps us moving forward. And I wanted to know in what, exactly, and why, they have faith.

From Karim El Zein, an artist from Lebanon whose poem touches on longing and ideas of a lost home, to Nina Vroemen’s sensual visuals exploring acceptance and change. From Emilie Lafleur’s words communing with God, the mystical, and technology to Brooke Manning’s grounding in human / nature connection. From Hannah Siden’s meditation on physical health to Jake Byrne’s meditation on mental health. From Jackson Darby’s sound piece, recorded on a pump organ in a chapel in France and then processed through a modular and played back inside the chapel and recorded once again to Ralitsa Doncheva’s video, recorded during Zheravna Festival of Costume in Bulgaria where thousands of people gather each summer to perform traditional dances under a full moon. And from Mattias Apse’s brief poem on movement and time to the Biophilia Collective’s vast world building, sci-fi interactive sound and visual poem. All these pieces touch on what is beyond us, what draws us, of what mysteries we move in search, what is treasured, what is necessary to our being. Whatever future we may have, we must do our best to name that which is most sacred, those things in which we put our faith in order to continue.

—Brad Casey, Curator




Brad Casey is a Montreal-based writer and photographer. His debut book of poetry, The Idiot on Fire, was published in 2016. He is a former staff writer for VICE, and has had numerous articles published internationally and in dozens of languages. In 2014 he founded and was Editor in Chief of the limited-run literary journal The 4 Poets. His writing has appeared in Hobart, Peach Mag, The Puritan, BAD NUDES, GlitterMOB, and more. He has organized reading events and performed his work in Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Gothenburg. The Handsome Man his debut book of fiction was published by Book*hug in 2020.


Kinks ❋ Nina Vroemen


Vision vs. Revelation ❋ Émilie Lafleur


Cerebrospinal Fluid & Snow Days ❋ Hannah Siden


Red Moon ❋ Ralitsa Doncheva


Nychthemeron of Mu ❋ Brooke Manning

Poetry   Sound

Untitled ❋ Karim El Zein


Metanoia ❋ Jake Byrne


Andromeda is perishing ❋ Mattias Apse


Fragments From The Biophilia Codex ❋ Biophilia Collective

Poetry   Sound   Text

In the Chapel ❋ Jackson Darby