Tell us a little about yourself and your zine/project/distro. I’m a feminist social justice worker, I make hand bound books and zines (you can see them here!) and I am also co-organizing the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair!
How did you start making zines? Who/what influenced you?
I started making zines when I was about 19, after I was introduced to feminist activism and zine-making by the amazing Ellie Anglin. We made a feminist collaborative zine with some friends that lasted for a couple years, and during that time I also started making Heirloom, which was a long-running literary zine. I was really excited by the idea of making our own media – I was living in Waterloo, and at that time it felt very possible to make a zine yourself, get it out into the public, and start a larger dialogue – folks were really interested and invested in what was happening. It felt powerful and exciting, and that feeling is what keeps me making zines, facilitating zine-making workshops, and helping to organize events like the HFZF.
What does it mean to make feminist zines/do feminist diy publishing?
To me, feminist zine making is all about disrupting the power dynamic that says that only certain people get to make media. I facilitate girls zine making workshops and it’s always so exciting telling 8-12 year old girls about how they don’t have to just read magazines that are telling them how to look and who to be – they can make their own media and talk about anything they want. They can be the ones that hold the power. I think it’s also about realizing how much you can do yourself – putting together a zine is such a multi-dimensional project, and really teaches you how to build something from the ground up. I love that feeling, of being involved in every part of making a zine, from first ideas and themes to the finished, physical zine. It’s an empowering process.
Tell us about a feminist who inspires you to keep working on your zines/projects.
The groups I mentioned above – when I do these workshops, I always love how excited they are about making zines. They are at an amazing age where they are so confident and proud of themselves. I have one page they can fill out that says: I am powerful because… and they can fill out an entire page, without having to question themselves, just listing all the reasons they know that they are powerful. They are very inspiring. Other feminists I love: Tatyana Fazlalizadeh of the project Stop Telling Women To Smile (stoptellingwomentosmile.com); I will always be inspired by Shameless, and Sheila Sampath for art directing such an amazing project; and Caroline and Tricia of Women Artists: Interviews, a really gorgeous zine that celebrates women artists and makers.
What excites you about Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair or the idea of feminist zine fairs in general?
I’m so excited for the HFZF! I can’t wait to see and read new feminist zines, get involved in the amazing workshops, and meet the folks who are coming out. In general, the idea of feminist zine fairs and making spaces for feminist voices is so exciting. To me it feels like creating an ideal space – where like-minded folks can open up dialogue, where we can share art and writing and ideas, and feel a sense of community in a way that maybe isn’t always so easily accessible – for one day, to remember that these spaces can exist, and feel rejuvenated to continue the work toward building this ideal space into our everyday lives.