HFZF Zinester Interview – Pittsburgh Feminist Zine Fair

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FZF PGH is a four day event celebrating, exploring, and supporting intersectional feminist voices through zines and self-publishing. We aim to create a safe space for expression and dialogue for feminist women of all races and sexual orientations, trans* and gender non-conforming people, feminist people of varying ages, sizes and abilities, and our feminist accomplices.

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That is so exciting that there is now a Pittsburgh Feminist Zine Fair: what made you want to start a feminist zine fair, and how did you go about building it?

I started the Pittsburgh Zine Fair back in 2011 and over the years have been thinking about how to make it more political in the sense that I want to see more zines and exhibitors talking about race, class, and gender in the work and discussions at the fair. This year I met with women from Pittsburgh who had attended the NYC Feminist Zine Fest and were so inspired by it that they wanted to start a feminist fest here in Pittsburgh. We teamed up and made it happen!

What were your priorities in creating a feminist zine fair in Pittsburgh?

Our number one priority was to create an organizing team that reflects the diversity we want to see in the Feminist Zine Fest exhibitors, workshop participants, and presenters. We are mothers, teachers, and students with diverse backgrounds in terms of race, age, and sexual orientation. We all have different levels of experience with zine making but we all share a love for feminism and self publishing.

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Can you tell us about the day – what did it look like, what were you excited about?

Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh was held from 12 – 5 on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh Frick Fine Arts Building. Leading up to this day we had a film screening of Boy I Am at Union Project, a dance party at Spirit, and a conversation and zine making workshop at Constellation Coffee. On Sunday we had readings, workshops, and discussions ranging from #WritingWhileBlack to Women and Trans Prisoner Defense. Cindy Crabb of Doris Zine did a reading, and Mary Tremonte and Jenna Lee Forde from Toronto joined us for a discussion on feminist collaborations.

Is the zine fair part of an already existing feminist small-publishing community in Pittsburgh, or are you watching it create new community?

Yes, there is a feminist small-publishing community here in Pittsburgh but we want to see it grow. We brought in feminist zinesters from NYC, Toronto, and a ton of small cities across the North Eastern United States, to help foster and inspire conversations around how to grow that community here in Pittsburgh.

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What feminist zines are you reading / excited to read?

I love Doris zine by Cindy Crabb. Her zine “Masculinities” is a great primer for people interested in redefining and exploring new notions of masculinity. I also follow the Cutthroat Cutie zine by 15 year old Erie resident Moe Williams.

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The Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair,  organized by SACHA, celebrates and creates spaces for marginalized groups to have discussions about feminism through do-it-yourself publishing.

We’re aiming to create an accessible event that gives a platform to those often under-represented in zine culture.

HFZF will have people tabling, selling and chatting about their zines, workshops, a calm chill out space and a six hour zine challenge.

When: Saturday, November 7th from 11am to 5pm
Where: YWCA Hamilton – 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton ON
Accessibility: The space is accessible, including washrooms. Here’s some more information about safe(r) spaces at HFZF.

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