Static Zine’s Feminist Heroes

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by Aviva Cohen

Static Zine is a Toronto-based “mag(azine)” run on a DIY ethic by editor Jessica Lewis, managing editors Aviva Cohen and Melody Lamb, and a collective of storytellers from all over the world.

In honor of the Hamilton Zine Fair I wanted to write about feminist zine heroes so I chose four rad ladies who have helped change and shape zine culture. Some of you may know, some may be brand new to your brain but they have all been a huge influence from the 80s to present day.

Kathleen Hanna

“Kathleen Hanna is an American musician, feminist activist, and punk zine writer. In the early- to mid-1990s she was the lead singer of feminist punk band Bikini Kill, before fronting Le Tigre in the late 1990s and early 2000s.”

You probably know who Kathleen Hanna is and if you don’t, I recommend watching The Punk Singer, a documentary on one of the most badass ladies in music. Hanna was huge in the zine movement, publishing zines in the 80s! Her more well-known zines included Bikini Kill, a response to the sexism they saw in punk music and of course Riot Grrrl, a zine about feminism in the punk scene which spawned the Riot Grrrl movement.

Maggie MacDonald

Maggie MacDonald is a writer, playwright and musician from Toronto.

Before moving to Toronto and joining such bands as The Hidden Cameras, she was known for her fanzine Saucy.  The Hidden Cameras are probably one of the few bands that have a song and dance dedicated to make zines called “Fear of Failure: Ode To Zine Publishing.”

Other cool things about Maggie: she was a member of Barcelona Pavilion, ran in the 1999 provincial election with the NDP and released a number of awesome plays and books.

G.B. Jones

G.B. Jones is probably one of the most infamous women in Canadian punk. She was a member of 80s Canadian all-women experimental post-punk band Fifth Column.

She and the rest of her band “released their own underground packaged xerox art/ social commentary zine named HideZine (5 issues) which, after its first issue, came out with audio cassettes that were compilations of music by Fifth Column, along with their local post-punk and experimental contemporaries.”

G.B. and filmmaker Bruce La Bruce started the punk rock zine J.D.’s in the late 80s, an influential zine that was a catalyst for the queercore scene.

I highly recommend checking out the documentary She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column to learn more about one of the coolest punk bands from Toronto.

Nia King

Nia King is a multimedia journalist whose work focuses on political art by women, queer people and people of color. She is the author of Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives and the host and producer of We Want the Airwaves podcast. Her writing has been published in Colorlines, East Bay Express and Women & Performance. She is currently working on Queer & Trans Artists of Color, Volume 2 with co-editor Elena Rose.” Check out more info about Nia on her website: http://www.artactivistnia.com/

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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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