HFZF Zinester Interview – Heidi Cho

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Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

My name is Heidi Cho, and I am 27 years old and I make zines! I identify as a 2nd generation queer South Korean person, which guides a lot of material I make. My zines are a combination of illustrations and writing that tackle themes around mental health, queerness, racism, family and generally navigating through the world as a queer person of colour.

You can check out my tumblr at heidicho.tumblr.com or my Instagram at instagram.com/heidichomakesart

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How did you start making zines? Who/what influenced you?

I started making zines when i was 17 years old. I’ve always been interested in DIY culture, particularly as a qpoc (queer person of colour) who hasn’t seen much self-representation in the media or pop culture. I started by using typewriters, and talking about my experiences as a young person who was interested in punk culture and riot grrrl.

I am influenced by queer zinesters of colour like Shotgun seamtress, feminist and critical race scholars like Audre Lorde and bell hooks, as well as comic book artists like Lynda Barry and Jillian Tamaki.

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What does it mean to make feminist zines?

To tell and share my story as a queer woman of colour feels deeply political, particularly when you are someone who needs to push dominant narratives to be heard. I think it’s important particularly for queer people of colour to be in charge of the stories we tell, and zines and diy publishing allows for that to happen more easily. I cannot rely on mainstream media to feel understood or heard.

Tell us about a feminist who inspires you to keep working on your zines/projects.

I am draw to other weirdo asian female artists like comic book artist, Lynda Barry who talk a lot about mental health and putting your art out there. As someone who is very hard on myself, it’s important for me to change my confidence and perception around art-making practices.

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What excites you about Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair or the idea of feminist zine fairs in general?

It feels empowering and exhilarating to put my art out there, as well as connect with other zinesters (especially queer and trans zinesters of colour). It also feels soo awesome to share my work in a space that is anti-oppressive because sometimes zine fairs can be scary and anti-political.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself…

I’m a gemini!

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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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