Interview with a Zinester: Sarah Rose!

It’s happening today, folks! Come to us starting at 12 this afternoon. And we’ve still got interviews rolling through :) Check out this great one from Sarah Rose.

SarahRosePhoto

Pink-haired Sarah Rose smiles for the camera.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

My name is Sarah, I write a zine called “Safe Home” and have done a bunch of one shot zines, that I’ll have with me. I write about mental health, self-care, queerness, sexual abuse, addiction, and occasionally balloon twisting. I work in a bookstore, write a book review blog, and generally spend a lot of time thinking about books, publishing, and the hierarchy of genres.

What is your process for creating/assembling your zines?

I don’t really have any one set process. I’ve done solo zines that took months to put together, some that have come together within the span of hours or days from conception to creation. I’ve done compzines that were the collaborative effort of a dozen people and split zines that involved just a friend and I working together. The great thing about zines is that there’s no one “right” process or prescribed way of creating. We have only the boundaries of our imaginations to break through.

What is your favorite tool or implement for doing so?

I really like my saddle stapler and making a big mess with rubber cement.

What tips or thoughts would you have for folks who want to make a zine but aren’t sure how?

Do it! There are tons of tutorials online and if you can’t find one you feel comfortable using, ask someone whose zine you admire to point you in the right direction. Zine folks are the best folks and we are almost always happy to help/share resources and knowledge.

Do you have a “bad feminist” (a la Roxane Gay) moment? Has your relationship to feminism changed over time?

I can’t point to a specific moment, but there are things that I’ve written in earlier zines that make me cringe a lot. A lot of the things I did/said when I was on drugs is still pretty haunting. But I’m finding that the things I regret make me much more cognizant of the impact that my words and actions can have on the people around me. In that way, regret is pretty humanizing.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

I can’t wait to see the organizers and thank them for the hard work they’ve put into creating such an affirming event! I’m super stoked to be driving up with some of my favorite Philly pals (Katie Zall and Anna Melton, whose zines are mind blowingly great), and am glad to see JC Tributaries, who I think is one of the most universally talented writers in the world. I can’t wait to see what Rachel and Sari from Hoax have been working on. And I’m really excited to see Aus and Lauren, who are ridiculously great. I just went back to look at the list of tablers right now, and I have to stop gushing because there are so many cool people that I’m inspired by and in awe of coming to NYC Feminist zine fest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Podcast on Feminism & Zines (featuring… you! And two FZF organizers!)

Look at that! The Barnard Center for Research on Women interviewed Jenna and Jordan, two of our FZF organizers, as well as folks at the 2014 ‘fest to talk about feminism and zines. Enjoy a quick listen here as you’re folding all those zines.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with a Zinester: Suzy Gonzalez!

Our last interview before the fest itself comes from none other than Suzy Gonzalez! We’re so happy to meet you all tomorrow :)

SuzyGonzalezPhoto

Suzy, wearing long braids and with microphone in hand, reading from one of their zines.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I’m a Chicana-vegan-feminist-zinester from Texas, currently working on my MFA in Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. I’m invested in the fusing of art and activism, declining socially constructed binaries, and being critical of institutional injustices. I make paintings, sculpture, prints, intallations, etc., but zines are the only way I am able to truly get my political opinions across. My zines consist of personal accounts, drawings, current events, and interviews with those whom I admire and respect, and are generally related in some way to my identity. I’m excited to be presenting my first comic this year that reflects on being a woman of color in an elite institution while attempting to make art that calls for social change.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

Back in Texas, my good friend Elle Minter and I began a feminist zine called Yes, Ma’am. We had been having regular discussions between the two of us in addition to gender studies courses, and felt a need to voice our opinions. We found the zine format to be a perfect way to express our voices and the voices of anyone who wanted to contribute, whether we agreed with them or not. In addition to the Yes, Ma’am zine, we regularly held feminist discussions with Austin Free Skool. We’ve both been in Grad. school these past two years so I miss her a ton, but I’m happy to be introducing a much overdue Issue 8 of Yes, Ma’am at the fest this year. :)

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

It will appear in all of my work for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t be happier about that. It is entirely explicit. Art snobs hate that, and I don’t care. To make a feminist zine or a feminist painting is to express ones voice–a voice that refuses to be silenced.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

I’m drawn towards feminist compilation zines because I’m all for feminists supporting feminists, and enjoy reading personal stories, like those found in Tenacious: Art and Writings from Women In Prison or This is Me Using My Choice: An Anthology of Women’s Abortion Stories. It’s great to see so much support towards those who want to share their stories. It’s more of a chapbook, but I also love Arise, Chicano! and other Poems by the late Angela de Hoyos. It’s a bilingual read and reminds me of the complications, yet pride I have in my own identity. I’m also really into Evolution of a Race Riot, edited by Mimi Thi Nguyen, which has reprints of writings from the 90s and accounts from POC on riot grrrl and punk rock. It shines a light on a reality that I was unaware of as a kid, but allows me to relate to these writers as an adult. I’m able to see how much has changed and how much hasn’t. I guess I like to think of my zine collection as a historical archive.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

Hmm, maybe a tea infuser, because I like to spread my ideas around.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

It was great to see Hoax zine last year. Hoax Issue #5 on Community came into my life at a really great time, and I’m looking forward to what seeing what they’ve been up to this past year. I’m also way into Annie Mok’s comics.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with a Zinester: Anna Melton!

It’s the day before the fest and we’re jazzed to give you an interview with zinester Anna Melton! Check it out:

Anna smiling with a water bottle from inside a cleaved tree.

Anna smiling with a water bottle from inside a cleaved tree.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I’m Anna, longtime zine reader but relatively new zine maker. As of this spring (!!) I will also be studying to be a registered nurse. Other interests: knitting fiddly lacy things with tiny needles, wondering whether I can ever pull of Janis Joplin at karaoke (and then concluding I can’t and settling for Alanis Morissette), seeing how many Philly public transit routes I can ride in one day, acting as a human scratching post for my kitty, Oscar Wildecat.

Dear Rob, my first zine, started to take shape last fall, while I was taking a course to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). I studied cultural anthropology in a previous life, and Rob was my favorite anthropology professor. In many ways, he”s the person who most profoundly shaped my particular brand of radical politics and intersectional feminism. His suicide in 2012 shook me hard; I actually have a ton of half-started zines from various points since then attempting to process the fallout from that. But it was reading my CNA textbook’s very strange, incomplete definition of “transgender” that really made me ask “what would Rob [a scholar of both medical anthropology and anthropology of the body/gender performance] make of these words?” and sparked a finishable project. I came home from class and wrote him a letter describing how fucked my textbook was, one letter turned into another, and you next thing you know I had a zine on my hands.

My second zine, Baby Carrots Micro Aggressions, is a comic version of a dream I had, lovingly drawn up by my friend Maggie. We may collaborate on more zines featuring the “Anna character” later on.

Speaking May Relieve Thee, making its debut at FZF, is my attempt to blend two communities I love very much: the zinester/DIY community, and the sacred harp singing community.

I am currently working on a longer-term project about feminism, neurodiversity, and the impossibly high standards of emotional attentiveness that women are held to (and men are allowed to neglect entirely.) Tentatively calling it Empathy as a Second Language. Maybe it will be ready by the time this zinefest comes around next year…

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

I first encountered the concept of zines when I read a YA novel called Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger. The main character, John (zinester alias Gio) loves a zine called Personal Velocity, contrives to meet its author, Marisol, forges this intense, prickly friendship with her, and finds himself falling for her even though he’s known from the get-go that she’s queer. The coolest part of the book for me, besides the authenticity of the relationships, was that it had pages designed to look like the characters’ zines, with faux handwriting and pictures and everything. I was way too sheltered and socially clueless to know that there was a thriving punk/DIY scene happening just up the road from my hometown, so that book was my only exposure to zines for years.

Then I had a college roommate who had been clued in enough to actually buy real zines, so I read a bunch of hers. Dated a zinester for a minute while I lived in DC, went to my first zinefest there, and was blown away by the sheer variety of subjects and styles. Meant to write a zine for months, years, after that, but always found myself staring down half-started documents and feeling defeated. Big ups to my zine-making friends here in Philly for giving me that final push to do the scary thing.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

I wrote Dear Rob, in part, because I was struggling with the gendered aspects of CNA class, both obvious things like the men in class speaking over women, and more insidious things like realizing how undervalued “low level” gendered caregiving work like CNA-ing is, both in terms of recognition and monetary compensation. Feminist zine-making, to me, is taking a broader topic (like my CNA class) and analyzing the ways in which living as a woman in a patriarchal society shapes that topic or experience, for better or worse.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite zine, but I have to give a huge shout-out to On Subbing by Dave Roche. It’s one of the first zines I ever read, and it influenced my writing about my work, specifically how to write about vulnerable subjects both compassionately and critically. I’ll be reading it again as I consider writing more about my current and future jobs.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

My kitchen counter. A solid, steadfast thing that’s seen a lot of experiments, both successful/tasty and much less so, and has some scars and caked-on crud to prove it, but will reliably stick with me and do its job. (Also, my particular kitchen counter was assembled with the help of other zinesters, in an afternoon where every possible double entendre that you can possibly make using the word “screw” was made, so it’s got some extra good DIY vibes.)

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

Especially excited to see Sophie Labelle–I’ve been reading and loving Assigned Male for a while now. But really, there are are so many zinesters I’ve never met/zines I’ve never read, and I can’t wait to take everything in.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with a Zinester: Nicole Harring!

Nicole Harring is up next! Read on and check out their Etsy store while you’re at it.

B&w photo of blond zinester wearing a black spiled collar and cat eye makeup.

B&w photo of blond zinester wearing a black spiled collar and cat eye makeup.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

My name is Nicole, I’m an avid crafter and textiles enthusiast from North Carolina. My zine Bitch Craft (2011-2014) focuses on the D.I.Y/Vegan lifestyle and the work of female artists.  Each issue has tutorials, interviews, short essays, reading lists, and lots of practical knowledge you can actually get your hands dirty with.

I also make a perzine, “Chipped Teeth” with the most recent and third issue discussing my personal experiences with abuse and survival.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

In 8th grade I started frequenting the used book store in my town, and one day found issues of Slug and Lettuce which was the first zine I’d ever read. The following year when I started going to shows, I met my friend Renee who was basically my mentor for everything awesome and important.  She showed me classic riot grrrl zines like Girl Germs and Bikini Kill and encouraged me to make my own. She even contributed to “Panic!” the 5 part zine series I made through out high school.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

I feel that feminism appears explicitly in the majority of my work.  I started making B.C. when I was 18 right after moving to the city and my goals were not only to make something craft oriented but also to have an outlet to talk about the issues that affected my life as well as highlighting the work and lives of other women that inspire me.  From contemporary artists like Alaina Varrone, to personal heroes such as Lucía Sánchez Saornil. Feminism just naturally became the backbone of the zines.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

Mend My Dress by Neely Bat Chestnut has been such an important zine to me for years! Her distro also puts out some of my other favorites like Shotgun Seamtress, and Telegram.  Bound To Pray/Pasan los dias by Ana Humanleather is also one of the most powerful things that I’ve had read in a long time.

I love typewritten, cut and paste zines and definitely have a soft spot for a hand sewn binding.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

A crock pot.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

Nyxia Grey, Lauren and Aus from Wheelhouse, and so many more it’s hard to choose!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with a Zinester: Metropolarity!

We start the day with an interview from the crew of Metropolarity, a group of queer people of color who create sci-fi zines! Check it out.

A laughing crew of zinesters making fun expressions in a room with bright green walls.

A laughing crew of zinesters making fun expressions in a room with bright green walls.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

Metropolarity is a Philly-based collective of four queer sci-fi writers of color: Alex Smith, Rasheedah Phillips, Maggie Eighteen, and Ras Mashramani. As individuals and as a collective we do readings & performances, workshops, and put out work in the form of individual/collaborative zines and object/information-based propaganda. Alex Smith is the founder of Laser Life, our favorite series of queer sci-fi readings in Philly. Rasheedah has recently authored an experimental time travel exploration of trauma in her book, Recurrence Plot, and is the creative director and founder of the Afrofuturist Affair and Black Quantum Futurism. Eighteen writes & records All That’s Left, a post-binary dystopian cyborg zine series (online 4 free at cyborgmemoirs.com), and is working on an extended book version for October this year (thanks Leeway). Ras was the impetus to form Metropolarity itself and occasionally does Street Theory, a communal potluck and open mic critical theory night. The lot of us organized the Allied Media Conference’s Liberation Technologies sci-fi track last year together with Ash Richards, KellyAnne Mifflin, Petra Floyd, and Jade Fair of Honey & Blackbone.

We at Metropolarity believe that those without power must take advantage and control of the media outlets that we have access to. We choose science fiction as our lens to create new worlds, identities, self paradigms, and to destroy old, harmful ones.

We have a frequently updated calendar of events at our site: http://metropolarity.net, and a solid selection of available gear at our distro spot, http://metropolarity.storenvy.com  ^_~/

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

Informative, personal, historical, radical zines have always been in our lives. We are influenced by no one person or group in particular, and probably more driven to produce zines as a means to be in control of our own mediated narratives and technological exchange with others.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

Our zines are feminist by all means, yet to confine our zines to that or any single word is insufficient. We think producing an object as a tool for communication, education, and information exchange should be done deliberately, like any meditation or ritual. Feminist zine making is a communion.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

We like zines that feel like important objects and heavy with intent.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

A pair of scissors.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

Emma Caterine had a couple of badass sci-fi zines last year, which was a delight because we are vicious radical scifi nerds and that’s rare. Big up massive to our neighbors, all the Philly zinesters because they do good shit. Looking forward to seeing what everyone’s going to have, the list right now is stacked!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Community Agreements

New York City Feminist Zine Fest Community Agreements

Have Fun!

We invite you to have a good time and meet each other.
Challenge Your Participation

Challenge yourself to speak up/participate more or move up by making room for others to speak/participate more.

**Respect people’s names and pronouns at all times

**Oppression is real and exists

Most of us in the room have and/or are currently experiencing oppression. As we share this space we will work against oppressing one another.

We all make mistakes and hold each other accountable.

If someone says something that feels hurtful or offensive, we encourage you to acknowledge what just happened. If you have said something that was offensive or hurtful to someone, we encourage you to acknowledge what just happened.

Check your responses/Gauge your reactions

If something comes up during a discussion or activity that you find hard or difficult, try sitting with that feeling to better gauge how you’d like to respond.

**Respect people’s physical boundaries and personal space at all times

Please do not touch people or their belongings without the consent of the person (even hugs!). No physical violence or threats of violence of any kind will be tolerated.

**Even if your intentions are well meaning, please do not ask someone what their “old name” was or if they are trans, gender nonconforming, or intersex.

Barnard College has unfortunately had a long history of transmisogyny (prejudice against trans women) and we want NYC Feminist Zine Fest to challenge that, not replicate it. It is up to the individual whether or not they want to offer up that kind of information.

Take care of yourself/Take care of your needs

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need any assistance.

**Please respect the space

We are all responsible for throwing away our own garbage and recycling and cleaning up any mess. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need any assistance. Damaging or destroying any equipment, materials, or building property is not allowed.

**If you choose not to respect this group agreement, you may be asked to leave.

derived from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Acuerdos de la Comunidad

¡Divertirse!

Te invitamos a pasar un buen rato y conocer a los demas.

Ponte a prueba su participación

Ponte a prueba de hablar/participar más o ascender al hacer sitio a otros para hablar/participar más.

**Respetar los nombres y los pronombres de la gente en todo momento.

**La opresión es real y existe

La mayoría de nosotros en el espacio tienen y/o actualmente estan experimentando opresion. Al compartir este espacio vamos a trabajar contra la opresión entre unos a otros.

Todos cometemos errores y sostenemos mutuamente responsables

Si alguien dice algo que se duele o se siente es ofensivo, le animamos reconoce lo que sucede. Si ha dicho algo que era ofensivo o se duele alguien, te animamos reconoce lo que sucede.

Compruebe sus respuestas/Mida sus reacciones

Si algo sucede durante una discusión o actividad que usted se siente es difícil, trate de estar con esa sensación de mejor medir cómo desea responder.

**Respetar los límites físicos de las personas y el espacio personal en todo momento

Por favor, no toca a las personas o sus pertenencias sin el consentimiento de la persona (incluso abrazos!). La violencia física o amenazas de violencia de cualquier tipo no será tolerado.

**Aunque sus intenciones son buenas intenciones, por favor, no pedir a alguien lo que era su “nombre antiguo” o si son trans, de genero no conforme, o intersex.

Barnard College ha tenido por desgracia una larga historia de la misoginia trans (los prejuicios contra las mujeres trans) y queremos que el Zine Fest Feminista de NYC desafiar eso, no replicarlo. Depende de la persona si quieren ofrecer ese tipo de información.

Cuida de ti mismo/Cuide sus necesidades

No dude en conseguir comida y beber, ir al baño, estirar o tomar descansos en cualquier momento. Por favor, no dude en preguntar si necesita ayuda.

**Por favor, respeten el espacio

Todos somos responsables de tirar nuestra basura y reciclaje y limpieza de cualquier espacio desordenado. Por favor, no dude en preguntar si necesita ayuda. No se permite dañar o destruir cualquier equipo de oficina, materiales o propiedad del edificio.

**Si decide no respetar este acuerdo de la comunidad, es posible que se le pida que deje.

Leave a comment

Filed under Zinefest