Phoebus and InLight provide Potomac students a creative outlet and an amplified voice after a challenging year

Audrey Lee and Katie Rebhan

This year, Phoebus and InLight did not disappoint with their powerful publications that showcased students’ art and written pieces. As Phoebus, Potomac’s literary magazine, prepares to publish its final issue, Inlight, Potomac’s diversity magazine, has already published its issue centering around the theme of revolution. 

One notable change of Phoebus has been its switch from their usual hard-cover book to an online website, making it easier for students to both access and contribute.

“The online format is almost more accessible, especially since we can link music and other videos and audio,” said Phoebus club leader Elisabeth Oskoui.

Phoebus writer Jack Morgan also added, “I’m really excited about the release of this year’s Phoebus’ publication. It’s been hard mentally for a lot of people, myself included, and I think sharing my story about a person struggling with a lot of mental health issues is really important.” He continued on to say, “Putting the not so pretty details out makes it hard emotionally but forces the reader to think. I decided, maybe the lighthearted stuff is what people like to read, but it’s not what they might need to read.”

InLight also reduced its publications this year where they usually produce two editions per year in the fall and spring while also contributing to Sidwell’s winter edition. Due to Covid-19, however, InLight only published one edition this year with the theme of revolution. Despite reducing their regular production of print issues, Inlight has still released a phenomenal publication. Editor and Chief of the Inlight Magazine, Zhané Moledina explained the reasoning behind the theme of revolution. 

“I felt myself and other students were really able to express ourselves in this most recent issue. We felt like with Black Lives Matter and just so much change has been going on in our country as well as a lot of uncertainty; revolution was the key word to continue this momentum from the summer into the school year.” In addition to submitting multiple works of art, Zhané also published an essay surrounding mass incarceration and the discrimination against marginalized groups. She then reflected on the experience of writing this essay and sharing her artwork. 

“I’m thankful for Inlight because it’s given me a place to speak and have my voice be heard.”  

Elisabeth Oskoui also said, “My favorite part is getting insight into the thoughts and experiences of the student body and sharing that with others. I also really enjoy just being able to work with other members of Phoebus on arranging photos on the website and pairing them with pieces and seeing that combination of written and visual work.” 

Phoebus club leader Alex Vuono felt similarly, adding, “Just seeing the final product is really a privilege, that we’re able to arrange all of these art forms to tell a story of the year. Especially with Covid-19, with the rollercoaster that it’s been, I think we’re going to be able to tell a really interesting story this time.” While Covid-19 may have reduced the normal volume of publications from Phoebus and Inlight, the online content is notable for its ability to give students the necessary outlet for increasing conversations surrounding mental health and racial disparities.