Hello zine friends! We're a mere FIVE DAYS from ABQZFV. Gulp. No, no-- everything's fine (revived by smelling salts). We're excited to bring you more interviews this week. We hope you've enjoyed catching up some of the zinesters you'll meet next Saturday.
Today, we'd like to introduce you to Diahndra of JustWrite-- an organization that uses zines to champion social justice.
Please tell us about the zines you’ll be tabling at ABQZF.
The zines JustWrite will be tabling at ABQZF are literary and visual art zines, including art work and poetry by our gente in prison and those who are returning citizens. These zines tell our stories, reflecting on where we've been, where we are, and where we're going.
When did you make your first zine, and what was it about?
The first JustWrite zine was created in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center in 2012. The zine holds our stories - our experiences, where we come from (place, family, culture) our struggles, our inspirations and achievements and covers themes of incarceration, addiction, state and domestic violence.
Name three influences in your life that have affected your work, or even how you work.
Our influences are each other, ourselves and the community surrounding us.
What do you say when someone asks you, "What are zines?"
An underground magazine, for us, by us. A medium in which we can speak to the world and share with the world with no censorship. A place where we can tell our own stories and deconstruct the way media portrays us, as well as deconstruct issues of race, gender, class, etc.
Do you have a zine crush? If so, are you willing to reveal the object of your zine affection?
We still have so much to learn about zines, but we love local zinesters because they encourage the publication and sharing of zines and accessibility to arts and culture in our community. We love Marya and all she's done for the growth of the zine culture in Nuevo. We love zines that have revolutionized the way we view ourselves and the world around us. The zines that speak the truth, bring awareness and cover real issues affecting us and the world around us.
What's the most challenging thing about zine making? What do you enjoy most about the process?
For us, the most challenging thing about making a zine is fitting everything we want to say at the time we're creating a zine into one publication. Our zines we make collectively are typically bigger and contain more content than your average zine. This increases the cost of reproducing the zines, however, we don't want to leave anything or anyone's voice out. The thing we most enjoy is there is no limitation in making a zine; we can express anything we want to express and it's coming from a real place inside ourselves and how we view the world and experience the world.
|Workshop participant showing his zine pride.|
Zines are important to us because they are a vehicle for change and also a reflection of ourselves and the revolution that is happening inside of us. Zines allow us to be journalists and share our lived experiences and learn about the lived experiences of others. For us, zines are a journey in which we come together and tell our stories. When we're creating a zine, we're opening ourselves up to the world through creative expression and this creates awareness around our situation and it's also an avenue to get our stories out there.