For decades, zines have given underrepresented communities an outlet to share their thoughts, opinions, and realities. These handmade booklets/DIY magazines are especially popular because anyone can make them about any topic imaginable. While the endless rabbit hole that is the internet has also provided unlimited space for people to highlight their experiences, the physical zine continues thriving. As The Fader noted, the internet fights for your attention span, but zines are “long-lasting spaces” for marginalized groups. Tonight, an event in the Bronx hopes to – in the spirit of the zine – make a lasting impression on people of color and the LGBTQ community.
Starting at 5;30 p.m. ET, the Dominican Women’s Development Center and the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD) are hosting Zinister Zine Fair – a one-night event featuring more than 20 zine makers, incuding 3 Dot Zine, Neta Zine, The Felt, and The Coalition, according to Hyperallergic. The zine making event is part of the 17th annual BAAD!ASS Women Festival, which celebrates the empowerment of women through culture, art, and performance. Zinister is especially fitting at a time when the president of the United States has set out to vilify people of color and the LGBTQ community.
“We call it Zinister, because we understand that especially in these political times, creative resistance is very important,” artist Margot Terc, who also helped organized the event, told me. “That’s mainly the motivation, to acknowledge that a lot of healing happens when we create – when we get together to make this happen.”
And because these groups don’t always see themselves in the media – and when they do, they’re often not depicted in accurate ways – organizers took steps to find artists who understand what it’s like being a person of color or a member of the LGBTQ community. “We’re not represented in the media,” Terc said. “It’s getting better, but it’s always down to us. We’re always the ones who have to make it happen. The idea was to make it local so that we can focus on our own artists, our own writers.”
The event will kick off with attendees making their own zines. Stickers, glitter, glue, paper, and everything needed to create a zine will be provided. Then, the artists will showcase their work, before an open mic night invites others to share their work.
Zinister Zine Fair will take place on March 16, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, 2474 Westchester Ave., Westchester Square, Bronx. The event is free and open to anyone.