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Suffragette City Is A DIY Feminist Publication Serving Zine Realness With Magazine Style

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (courtesy of Gwynn Galitzer)

It’s not just a Bowie song. Suffragette City, a new intersectional feminist zine, aims to marry the DIY spirit of zines with the production value of a full-fledged magazine. Spearheaded by editor-in-chief and graphic designer Gwynn Galitzer, Suffragette City smartly combines the best of two worlds, resulting in an independently-produced yearly publication that has entrancing visuals and spirited content, like essays on gender activism, interviews with witches, styled photo spreads, poetry, hand-drawn lettering, comics, and more.

As they gear up to release their second-ever issue, they’ve been throwing monthly fundraising shows that double as parties, and will launch a formal fundraising campaign soon. I sat down with Gwynn, fresh from organizing and styling the zine’s cover photoshoot featuring model Angel Rose, to find out what’s up and what’s next.

Zines are one of the few forms of print media that are relatively thriving at least on a local scale, thanks to shops like Molasses Books and Bluestockings, maker pop-up shops at places like Shwick and Catland, and events such as the Bushwick Art Book and Zine Fair and Brooklyn Zine Fest.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (comic by Lucia Love)

  1. Magazines, on the other hand, are far less prevalent than they once were. Written media and photos within print publications have mostly moved to the internet, which doesn’t allow as much for glossy photo spreads and sharply designed editorial layouts.

“It’s a super DIY zine, but the production level is really high. We do all the fundraising and everything so we can print this in such a high caliber. I love print, I love working on paper, I love collage. I love having a tactile thing. There’s something about having your work physically printed. It communicates to someone else that someone has invested the money to physically publish your work,” she says. “[And] the work deserves it. It’s all done through fundraising, it’s all volunteer-based, it’s all advertisement-free, and it’s clearly expensive to make. ”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (photo: Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City‘s first issue, which was all about hair, came out in 2015. They printed 300 copies and had a kickoff event at Silent Barn, and now sell copies at Bluestockings. The second issue (the theme is Politics) is slated to run the week before Election Day in November. Naturally, there will be an appropriately-themed release party, also at Silent Barn.

The content and people in Suffragette City reflects Galitzer’s multifaceted community; she grew up in the city, studied Fine Arts at SVA, sings in a band, and has spent several years curating and producing art events throughout the city.

“I didn’t just grow up in the city, I went elementary school through college in a five-block radius in Chelsea. It’s a small town,” she says. “I have a lot of my childhood friends in this. [Design Director] Nicole Ruggiero and I [have been] best friends since we were 4 years old, as well as Harley Kinberg who is our illustrator. It’s the first time we’ve been working on a creative project together, it’s been really awesome.”

She got the idea for the zine from the monthly event she helps run with her boyfriend, a workshop-based reading and music series called Having A Whiskey Coke With You that’s now been running for five years.

“I noticed there was a lot of really powerful female-identifying readers, but the events were very male-heavy. Mostly because the reading scene is very male-dominated. I was talking to my boyfriend Jesse, saying that he should do a female-centric [event], and he was like, ‘I think you should do something.”

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (painting by Katelan Foisey)

Since the reading series was already producing a monthly zine and she grew up doing “music and zines” all throughout high school, Galitzer figured this would be similar, made in the classic DIY Xeroxed style she was used to. She soon realized that the project was moving in a sleeker direction. “All the sudden it started snowballing, the quality of the work was going up and up and up. So I realized I needed to step this up more, I needed to make this high caliber.”

Galitzer works as a graphic designer and concentrated in printmaking at SVA, so she felt strongly that the quality of the publication needed to be up there with the pros. “We printed with one of the industry leaders in the city. Because I’m a graphic design nerd, I want everyone I know who does graphic design to look at it and go, yes, you did it right,” she says. “It was also investing in the people involved. I can’t have everyone put all this work in it and not make it the greatest thing I could possibly do. It felt necessary.”

Though many of the people featured in Suffragette City are people Galitzer knows personally, this does not make for any sort of lapse in legitimacy. Joanne Petit-Frere, who created the wigs and hair sculptures featured in one of several beautiful photo spreads shot by Alannah Farrell, has done work for celebrity clients. “Joanne gets hired a lot for these big deal photoshoots and performers, she’s done hairpieces for Beyoncé and all these crazy music videos, but she doesn’t get billing for it. I thought it was important to give her some spotlight,” says Galitzer.

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

Suffragette City Issue #1 (hair by Joanne Petit-Frere, photo by Alannah Farrell)

The Hair issue also features journalist and nightlife figure Gerry Visco (Galitzer calls her one of her best friends), “gender capitalist” androgynous model Rain Dove, and “masculine-of-center and/or genderqueer” activist Lucy Parks. Notably, Suffragette City features a diverse spread of minds and bodies often absent from the pages of glossy productions. “I’m very adamant that we are really an intersectional thing,” she says. “You can’t say you’re a feminist and not be intersectional. [It’s] definitely not all cis, heterosexual, white women. That’s also not representative of the people I know.” And it’s not just local; they put out a submission call via Twitter for their next issue and got a many responses, including someone currently living in the Philippines.

Suffragette City has been doing fundraising events monthly, and their next one is this Saturday. They’re starting at Williamsburg’s Two Boots Pizza for a “mini zine fair,” where they’ll also have handmade buttons featuring “strong female lead characters from the ‘90s with pizza.” After that, everyone will head over to the Gutter Bar for a rock show of female-fronted bands, including Galitzer’s own band, No Ice. She’s been committed to involving as many women as she can for these events. “If the venue has women on staff, I request they work that night,” she tells me.

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

mini zines (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

“It’s not like I have investors or I personally have money. I don’t have any experience with how it’s supposed to work at a magazine. It’s just me. It’s literally run out of my living room,” she says, telling me for their last photoshoot they moved all the furniture in her house and shot everything in the zine in 17 hours. She rented a room for a shoot this time, for her sanity.

Despite the immense work it takes to put out a publication like this, Galitzer shows no signs of stopping, and is considering starting a podcast and making miniature zines with Nicole Ruggiero in addition to the big yearly publication.

“I want more than anything for someone to give it to a 16-year-old girl and have her be like, ‘Yeah!’ And then for her to make a zine,” she says, grinning. “Also, I would like to get enough funding to pay everyone involved. I’d like to raise enough money so that everyone that put in hard work can get paid for it. And it’s going to happen. I have faith. If not for this one, then the next one.”

Suffragette City’s latest fundraiser is happening Saturday, July 23 at The Gutter Bar, 200 N 12th Street, Williamsburg. 8pm. $8. More info here. Visit the zine’s website here.

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I Crashed an RNC Watch Party and Felt Like the Elephant in the Room

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

At the Met Republican Club’s RNC watch party (Photo: Nicole Disser)

A strange man approached me last night at the Metropolitan Republican Club. “Do you know what that is on your hand?” he asked, pointing down to an glass eyeball ring I like to wear. I gulped, ready for anything– after all, people had been belting out things like “Traitor!”, “Treason!”, and, of course, the one that got everybody at the RNC watch party chanting: “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

“I dunno, blood?” I murmured. Thankfully, I don’t think he heard me. “It’s a mati,” he explained. “It’s supposed to ward off the evil eye.” It was a nice sentiment, but I wasn’t so sure it was working.

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Apostrophe NYC Will Host a Pop-Up Subway Show In Bushwick Tonight

A scene from last year's Subway Show (Photo: Courtesy of Apostrophe NYC)

A scene from last year’s Subway Show (Photo: Courtesy of Apostrophe NYC)

Apostrophe NYC is at it again. Three years after brothers Ki and Sei Smith’s Bushwick gallery and event space was shut down, the two have been busy. If the people can’t come to the art, then the art shall come to the people! After some of their most recent covert hijinks at the Whitney (where they’re now banned for life) and at MoMA PS1 in May, the intrepid art duo is planning a pop-up subway show at the Kosciuszko Street stop on the J line.

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Raclette, a Cheese-Lover’s Dream, Plans to Expand to Northern Spy’s Former Location

(Photo: Courtesy of Raclette NYC)

(Photo: Courtesy of Raclette NYC)

Sure, New York may be caught in the middle of what is disconcertingly being called a “heat dome,” and hot, melted cheese is probably the last thing on your mind as you desperately fan yourself with a free Time Out NY on the Finnish sauna known as the subway. But come on: Melted cheese makes everything better, and if you can’t accept that then perhaps there’s no help for you. Enjoy your limp kelp salad.

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After 17 Years, Ludlow Guitars Says Goodbye To Ludlow Street

 Ludlow Guitars owner Kaan Howell and employee Garret Lovell (first and second from left) along with members of nearby Con Artist Collective pose for a final photo at Ludlow Guitar's 172 Ludlow Street location. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Ludlow Guitars owner Kaan Howell and employee Garret Lovell (first and second from left) along with members of nearby Con Artist Collective pose for a final photo at Ludlow Guitar’s 172 Ludlow Street location. (Photo: Nick McManus)

Lower East Side music shop Ludlow Guitars had its last day earlier this week, ending its 17-year run on the street that gave it its name. As the shop’s owner, Kaan Howell, busily packed the place up in preparation for its decamp to Brooklyn, he took some time to get a couple final polaroids in the old shop—presumably the last before it inevitably turns into a fusion restaurant/hotel/dog therapist. 

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Duff Alert: Guns N’ Roses Returns to CBGB (Kinda) With Varvatos Pop-Up

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Get in the ring, motherf*cker.

Or at least get over to the John Varvatos store if you’re a Guns N’ Roses die-hard. The newly reunited band is making a return to CBGB– sort of. A GNR pop-up is opening today at what used to be the storied venue. The shop opens at noon (and that’s 12 p.m. SHARP, since there’s no need to yellow-jacket Axl), when the first 50 fans through the door get free concert tees. Will GNR make a surprise appearance ahead of their two shows at the Meadowlands this weekend, like they did at the Varvatos store in 2010? A publicist tells us, “No in-store performance. But I heard Duff is stopping by.”

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Lifeforce Ditches Our Dystopian Present For a Post-Gender Cyborg Future

"Olympia" by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

“Olympia44” by Kelsey Bennett (Image courtesy of Kelsey Bennett)

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like everything on this place we call Planet Earth is terrible right now. Mostly because a bigoted, beady-eyed mop man partial to Valencia-orange spray tans has power boated, ass pinched, and butt picked his way to the Presidential contest. The whole charade is sort of starting to feel like the first few chapters of a sci-fi paperback– when the autocratic overlord is hurtling toward consolidating his dystopian reign, and you can’t believe that no one saw it coming.

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Adrian Grenier’s East Village Bar; Brooklyn Zine Fests

Nevada Smith’s soon-to-be replacement, bar/coffee house/record shop The VNYL, reportedly boasts Entourage‘s Adrian Grenier as a business partner. [NY Daily News]

This Monday night at Hope Gardens Community Center, local leaders will take suggestions for how the cash-flush Wyckoff Heights Medical Center can better serve its patients. [Bushwick Daily]

The city is seeking proposals for a new food stand to occupy the recently asbestos-abated Allen Street Mall bathhouse. [Bowery Boogie]

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Here’s Where To Hate-Watch the RNC Tonight

(WNYC Studios)

(WNYC Studios)

Some people are on the FBI Watchlist. Well, this is the RNC Watchlist, where you can settle down at a bar, event space, or Republican haunt (if you’re nasty) and bear witness to the great and terrible orange man, as he drips words and possibly froth from his mouth, instilling fear into impressionable folk about how no one can save our country but him. Though the news has painted a fairly grim picture of the US recently, I’m pretty sure Donald and I have different definitions of what “saving” something means.

If the reality of this week’s Republican National Convention is too wretched to behold as truth, you can pretend you’re watching a movie. But let’s hope it’s a movie that compels you to educate yourself and vote in all of your state and local elections, in addition to the big one in November. You can be the change you want to see in the world… If your vote manages to be counted, that is. Yikes.

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Speakeasy Dollhouse, an Immersive Murder Mystery, Comes to an Old Williamsburg Bank

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

(Photo: Courtesy of Speakeasy Dollhouse)

Cynthia von Buhler has had death on her mind for a while. More specifically, for as long as she can remember she’s been obsessed with the mysterious circumstances surrounding her own grandfather’s death. Frank Spano, von Buhler’s grandfather, was actually a bona fide 1930s bootlegger, and was shot and killed on the exact same day that von Buhler’s mother was born.

“The funeral happened in one room, and the birth of my mother in another,” she said.

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At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yuji Agematsu (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

We all have a little hoarder in us. Some more than others. Or maybe you have that weird friend who just won’t throw stuff away, and you wonder when someone is inevitably going to mistake his detritus for an art installation. Well, there’s now something for everyone at the New Museum. Its newest show, The Keeper, is an astounding assortment of collections amassed by artists, scholars, conspiracy theorists, survivors, weirdos, and everyday folk alike.

The show, which has over 4,000 objects spanning almost every floor of the museum, has the largest amount of items in the museum’s history. It’s a collection of collections, a hoard of hoards, a love letter to devotion. Similar to how many of the collections exhibited took years or decades to gather, curator Massimiliano Gioni has spent years on The Keeper; Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, calls the show his “lifelong obsession.” Keep Reading »

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Two Shootings in Williamsburg and the LES in the Past Week

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

Suspect of the shooting in the LES (Photo: DCPI)

A pair of shootings occurred in recent days, one on the Lower East Side and the other across the bridge in South Williamsburg.

The first occurred during the late afternoon of July 16, when gunfire erupted near the corner of Pitt and Delancey Streets. A 20-year-old man was shot once in the right leg, according to the police. The victim was treated at Bellevue Hospital and released. Police say the suspect, thought to be about 20 years old, 5’6″, and 145 pounds, was last seen wearing a navy baseball cap, white tan top and dark shorts. He’s shown above.

He was accompanied by an unidentified woman of about the same age, last seen holding a bicycle and wearing the outfit below.

(Photo: DCPI)

(Photo: DCPI)

On Tuesday, July 19, around 9:25pm, another shooting took place at 84 S 10th Street in South Williamsburg. A 28-year-old man was shot in the arm and taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. As of yet, there is no information available about the suspect.