about the issue
When was the last time you stopped to ask yourself what journey you’re on? What about where you’re headed? Or who’s with you on the trip? What about what you’ll find when you get there? You’ve probably already figured out that we’re not talking about a relaxing vacation. As we put this issue together, we realized that when we talk about “travel” we’re very often talking about transformations. For 22 years, since the first issue of this magazine was published, Bitch has been a tool for change, an object that fuels action. We’ve always imagined Bitch as a vehicle to drive pop culture out of its stale/pale/male comfort zone and toward a social, political, and cultural future where we can fling the old maps out the window and draft brand-new ones. In this issue of Bitch, we’ve filled 88 pages with visions of travel that are intrinsically tied to objects and objectives. Bani Amor asks us to pull up a chair and witness as they sift through centuries of colonization, destruction, and protection of the culturally divine in “The Heart of Whiteness: Spiritual Tourism and the Colonization of Ayahuasca” (page 24). Dejan Jotanovic maps an alternative direction for the dangerously gendered future of artificial intelligence (page 30), while “The Social Network Sex Workers Built” (page 34) is a template for building social tools that—lookin’ at you, Zuckerberg—can be rewarding and responsible. Our community follows the path that new-tobitch Popaganda host Soleil Ho took into the world of awardwinning audio storytelling. And acclaimed writers Porochista Khakpour and Alexander Chee let us eavesdrop as they dig at the roots of two lives transformed through writing and exile (page 40). If you only have two minutes to spare, find Carmen Sandiego dishing out advice (page 10) or crank up the volume with Nitty Scott (page 84). And if you’re near a pair of scissors, stop right now and turn to page 53: You’re seconds away from pinning up a beautiful reminder of Brazilian activist Marielle Franco’s indomitable legacy. Depending on where you are in the world, this issue will accompany you through hot summer days or long winter nights, and we intend to offer you a constant companion of the very best kind: One that asks the question you’ve been avoiding, listens carefully as you parse your way through an answer, and holds you close while you find your center or right your ship.