Obsessed by the movements of humans, the ‘big picture’ and the mega-infrastructure that make their circulation possible, we forget that every great journey has its origin below the radar. The planetary and the microscopic are not necessarily in opposition—life is but a flow of minerals. At the micro scale, the biological and the geological become one, with metabolism interlinking human and non-human entities. Disease, from the plague to H1N1, travel mysteriously and are therefore terrifying—fear moving faster than bacteria. Seeds, plants, fauna have travelled the world, and back again, echoing humanity’s stories of exploration, exploitation and colonisation.
In Micro Odysseys, the fifth and penultimate issue of Migrant Journal, we explore the microscopic in movement: from shooting stars to shifting sands, bacteria in Estonia and particles in Geneva, mosquitoes in fascist Italy and tuberculosis in Indian cities, micro-plastics floating in the Pacific Ocean, Roman weeds and their mysterious migration to Copenhagen.
Crystal Bennes is an artist and architecture and design writer based in Edinburgh.
Bethany is a designer and writer based in London. Her recent work has examined humanity’s complex relationship to the terrestrial surface and explores extra-terrestrial phenomena and technologies. Interested in the changing socio-political attitudes towards the land, sky, space and sea; her research and projects have so far manifested as collections of artefacts, installations and essays.
Justinien is an urbanist, writer and editor based in London and Paris. A researcher at Theatrum Mundi, he also writes for publications such as Failed States and MONU and is a regular contributor to The Guardian. Justinien is a teacher and PhD candidate at The Bartlett, University College London where he researches the divide Paris/Banlieue. He is editor and a co-founder of Migrant Journal.
Based in Zurich, Isabel is an art director and graphic designer specialising in research- driven design and visual narratives using a repertoire of carefully crafted typography and vivid imagery. Next to commissions and collaborations, she engages in research, design education and investigates critical is- sues within the fields of design, media and society. Her work has been, published, exhibited and awarded internationally. Together with Christoph Miler, she runs the design practice Offshore Studio.
Christoph is an author and designer based in Switzerland, with a strong focus on storytelling, research and editorial design. In his work he explores questions of globalisation, media and society. He has been, published, exhibited and awarded internationally. Together with Isabel Seiffert, he runs the design practice Offshore Studio.