This week is special for The Eye. For issue six, The Eye partnered with the Arts & Entertainment section and the Illustrations team to create the Arts Issue, where we take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the art scene on campus. This week is a milestone for us. Not only is it our first themed Eye issue of the semester, but it’s a cross-departmental project in a scope and scale that hasn’t been seen in recent time at the magazine.
Collaboration can be daunting. In class, group assignments are often dreaded, especially when a presentation is involved. Part of it is fear—fear of being let down, disrespected, or ignored. On the other hand (and maybe they’re related) it’s narcissism—the arrogant belief that we can do things on our own, not needing to depend on others, even if that’s the whole purpose of a group project.
Collaboration is a big theme in this week’s issue. All the features this week, although most were written by A&E staff writers, were managed and reviewed by the editors in The Eye. We’ll admit we were nervous about how this would play out. Would people from the different sections get along? Would staff writers from A&E be receptive to Eye reporting and writing style?
Notes From the Underground is a feature by the collective effort of A&E’s Jack Meyer and The Eye’s Crystal Lua. Together, they examine Columbia’s underground scene and find a secret network of support amid campus music culture in investigating its roots, its current embodiment, and its unlikely cohesion—each group having an identity of its own, yet their members are often interchangeable.
Isabela Espadas’ feature, At Columbia, Fashion Instruction Exists in Pockets, investigates where and how fashion is studied and practiced on campus. We loved hearing Isabela and Candy Chan remember their initial meetings about the piece with shared fondness: designating 45 minutes to talk, but that time always spiralling off to over three hours, their voices growing louder and louder to echo in excitement about pitched ideas in Diana, unaware of the time passing or the volume of their voices.
The same can be said for Samuel Jones’ vignette profiles on student musicians that explore and address social issues through their music. We particularly love the presentation of the profiles. When the feature was first proposed, we had been looking at a dozen examples of online layouts for Samuel’s feature and when we finally found the one, a moment of worry followed, thinking we didn’t have the skill and expertise to produce something that looked so advanced. Usually, the idea would just be let go. But something in us and everyone around us in the office oddly felt: we should try. Three weeks later, something “we should try to do” grew, morphed, and evolved into a dream come true through a cross-department effort, especially from Photo and Product.
Theatre on Columbia’s campus is densely visual — comprised not only of actors on the stage, but of a network of creatives behind the scene, each with distinct roles. In Behind the Creative Curtain, a photo essay with photography by Elza Bouhassira, Sabine Ostinvil, and Amelia Milne, we sought to expose this creative stratification by exploring the web of roles in the recent Columbia University Players’ production of The Great Gatsby, their collaborative cohesion manifesting in the show’s performances.
Sophie’s eyesight refutes the claim that “everyone has read, or at least seen, Harry Potter.” She worked hand in hand with Eye Deputy Editor Parth Chhabra to access creative, whimsical dialogue, able to explore a fashion of writing not often utilized in typical A&E content.
Last but not least, for our View From Here, we transformed a personal essay about dance into a Draw My Life video illustrated by Anton Zhou, sound edited by Kara Schechtman, and video produced by Jarrett Ross. Anton and Jarrett first met to film the illustrations this past Sunday and ended up spending around nine hours together to get the video just right. A Draw My Life video was an idea floating around the office for a year and our hearts swells up to finally see it come to fruition.
This cross-department project has been in the works since early September. A lot has happened on campus and in our individual lives since then and we recently remembered how important it is to trust others, rely on them, and believe we can all do better together. So we hope this week’s issue of The Eye inspires you to appreciate working with others and the art that comes along with it.
Juliana and Sarah