“I have a philosophy now, borne out of much necessity, that sometimes things go wrong in order for them to go right. So when it was overcast on eclipse day in Cornwall in 1999, it enabled me to make the film that everyone agreed was much more me. Or when I trusted the light meter in a camera from another epoch, my near vanished film turned out more authentic to my project than anything I could have manufactured. But at the time, of course, these uninvited situations are unbearably painful and disappointing. To be persuaded by circumstance to take another route is never easy, and to trudge along that road to Damascus before the merest hint of conversion always takes some endurance, if not faith.

“And so it was in the summer of 2001, when I made copious plans with my friend Dick to travel to Western Madagascar to try once more to see a total eclipse of the sun. We survived the cancellation of our plane; we survived the guide and the journey, we survived everything and on the morning of June 21st, we even got the weather. But then during totality; during those two and a half most anticipated minutes, the camera fell down. Dick and I contributed jointly to cause this accident. I only write this because I think he might want to be retrospectively acknowledged for his role in the making of Diamond Ring. Suffice to say I was paralysed by the familiar disappointment. It took me nearly the whole of totality to react, and at that point I did something I rarely do, and would never have done: I zoomed in. And at the very moment I stop, with the sun in [the] middle of my viewfinder, the moon passes into the next phase, and the released sunlight overexposes my film and bleaches my frame.”—from Book One: Selected Writings (Steidl/ARC/Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 2003)

Tacita Dean

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Jennifer Hollett I have been digging into the pages of The Walrus Summer Reading issue and remarking at all of the contributions from our former and current Fellows. It reminds me that every issue of The Walrus is a result of a culmination of efforts (including lengthy fact-checking) from the editorial team, the emerging journalists they train, and the generous supporters who make all of this happen.

Through The Walrus Editorial Fellowship Program, we have the privilege of training the next generation of professionals who are passionate about the integrity of journalism. In the Summer Reading issue, 2021 Cannonbury Fellow Connor Garel wrote a piece on Frankie Perez and the art of breaking. Tajja Isen contributed an excerpt from her first book, Some of my Best Friends. Isen, who also began her career at The Walrus as a Cannonbury Fellow, is currently Editor-in-Chief at Catapult magazine.

Our 2022 Chawkers Fellow, Mashal Butt, was instrumental in making sure we got the facts straight in our Summer Reading issue, having fact-checked six features, including Sarah Totton’s short story “The Click.” And, you can look forward to a cover story on housing affordability by our 2022 Justice Fund Writer in Residence, JS Rutgers. (Rutgers is now a climate reporter for The Narwhal.)

Donations of any amount (great or small) mean that we can keep on training future journalists in the rigorous practice of fact-checking and editing. With your support, we can continue to keep The Walrus available to readers everywhere as well as help foster the next generation of reporters, copy-editors, fact-checkers, and editors.

With gratitude,

Jennifer Hollett
Executive Director, The Walrus