BRISSC has a long herstory of supporting survivors of sexual violence to express themselves through zines.
The word zine is short for magazine or fanzine, and refers to “self-publications, motivated by a desire for self-expression, not for profit”, according to the Barnard Zine Library. Though zines have their roots in the science-fiction of the early twentieth century, they experienced a revitalisation starting in the 1970s due to the rise of the punk movement and the increasing accessibility to copy machines, publishing software, and home printing technologies.
During the 1990s / the third-wave feminist movement, the subgenre of “girl zines” emerged, originating with the riot grrrl movement. As feminist documents, these zines emerge from a longer legacy of feminist and/or women’s self-publication that includes scrapbooking as well as the creation of women’s health literature and a variety of mimeographed pamphlets. For women writing all of these documents, self-publishing allowed them to circulate ideas that would not otherwise be published. As traditional press coverage of riot grrrl zines and music was “superficial, at best, and damagingly counter-productive, at worst,”. Girls used these zines to discuss their personal experiences, and commonly discussed themes include body image and sexuality as well as sexual violence, assault, abuse, and incest. As first-person, grassroots texts, girl zines emphasize lived experiences.
Purpose of zines
- Zines are a form of healing and social action. BRISSC uses zines as a method of documenting the knowledge and ideas that are generated within support groups. Zines document individual and collective wisdoms.
- Zines connect individuals to movements and/or cultures that share common lived experiences, and contain a collection of ideas, words, thoughts, artwork and poetry that is produced inexpensively often in black and white and in a simple organic format.
- Zines can be distributed in a closed circulation, such as feminist collectives, social action groups, support groups of various sizes or as public documents open to anyone who is interested.
Check out some of our zines here:
Zine 1 – ‘Survivance‘, BRISSC Support Group March-May, 2017
Zine 2 – ‘Sisterhood Unite‘, BRISSC Support Group July-Sep, 2018