Joyce Carol Vincent. A woman whose name I’ll never forget.
In 2006, the body of Joyce – a vivacious, young, talented aspiring singer from West London – was discovered in her flat three years after her death. The TV and heating were still running, Christmas presents laid unwrapped from 2003.
Joyce’s story left me with lingering questions. How – as a society – have we become so atomized that Joyce’s death could go unnoticed for so long? What do we need to stop this from happening? Can we be honest about the difficulties of community-building, while still welcoming it in to our lives?
This edition of New Internationalist explores loneliness and social isolation – phenomena that go well beyond anomalous tragic cases, taking in the disappearance of public space and how algorithms are leading us further down consumerist, chauvinist rabbit-holes, and away from intimate human connection.
But there is also hope. As labour reporter Eve Livingston argues, loneliness can also be a catalyst for thinking through how we might once again reach each other. From writings about cinema’s social impact to coaxing men out of patriarchal isolation, we hear about the myriad ways people are are restoring social connections.
Hana Pera Aoake reports on how New Zealand/Aotearoa has become a ‘world-leader’ in returning Indigenous ancestors home and Lorraine Mallinder charts how rap has become the language of protest in Iran.
Husna Ara for the New Internationalist co-operative.
From rank and file unionist heroes to industrialist lone wolves, Bollywood storytellers and ‘content creators’ have shifted to write out India’s collective spirit. Ishika Saxena questions what this means for how the country’s citizens can be brought together.
For centuries, museums have held human remains as artefacts – including those sold, looted and smuggled out of colonized countries. Hana Pera Aoake explains how New Zealand/Aotearoa has become a world-leader in repatriation. What can be learned from the Indigenous-led programme driving the push to bring ancestors home?