Interview with Zinesters: For the Birds collective

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do (from mission/about us)
For the Birds is a NYC-based feminist collective working to combat social inequality and challenge all forms of oppression through an intersectional feminist analysis of power both within our collective and in our larger society.

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As a collective we value collaboration, shared knowledge, self-expression, and meaningful communication. We seek to combat transphobia, sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, capitalism and other forms of oppression, and to reflect on our own privileges. Our activism emphasizes the need for accessibility, safer spaces, and support within our communities.

WHAT WE DO:

  • Workshops, discussions, and other events
  • A bi-monthly feminist event email newsletter
  • Tabling at feminist events with our zine distro
  • Engage with online feminist communities via our website, blog, and various social media outlets
  • Internal group processing and care
  • Group retreats

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
Many of us have experience in zine making and zine collecting. We’ve been inspired and empowered in our own feminism by many great feminist zines: Brainscan, Doris, Learning Good Consent, Hot Pantz, Moshtrogen, etc.  All of the people behind these zines found a way to make their voice heard and disseminate a feminist analysis of the world or their own lives in a way that others could share and build on.  We think that that kind of dialogue is what feminism is all about!

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Our feminist distro is carefully reviewed by all members of the collective to ensure content is feminist and inclusive.  Our distro includes titles that address issues important to us: sexual assault, consent and sexual health, mental and physical health, queer and trans narratives, stories from feminists within the punk scene and other alternative communities, and any narratives addressing how we can struggle productively against racism, homophobia, classism, ableism, capitalism and all other forms of oppression.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
We wrote a zine, So You Want to Start a Feminist Collective, to describe our collective process, encourage others to start their own collectives, and share the knowledge we’ve gained together. In this zine, we answers questions about how we started and how we continue to operate as a group. We address problems we’ve faced, how we’ve negotiated those issues, the vital importance of communication, and more. The zine is both about our own collective process and a guide to starting similar projects in your own community. It’s our way of sharing the knowledge we’ve gained together.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
A stand mixer. Bringing together ‘ingredients’ of feminism to make something wonderful!

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