It’s almost women’s history month and in New York that means it’s time for the NYC Feminist Zinefest (FZF). The self-described “jumble of magic, creativity, witchy energy, and zines zines zines” will take place March 31 at Barnard College, but its seventh annual season kicks off tonight with an open mic on the Lower East Side.
Kate Angell (an academic research and zine librarian) and Elvis Wolf (a comic book artist and author) founded the NYC Feminist Zinefest in 2012. For them, there was something inherently feminist about zines that deserved recognition. “Zines are the voices of those who thrive beyond and outside of the margins. Where ideas erased from traditional media live on,” FZF’s website states.
Since 2012, the fest has steadily grown and inspired similar ones in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Canada. This year, FZF has received over 160 applications for exhibitors. Its line-up currently includes artists such as Goda Trakumaite, Janice Quiles Reyes, and Yes Ma’am.
Looking for a handmade magazine or feminist community? Here are some events leading up to the big day.
Spoken Soup x NYC Feminist Zinefest
Every month, downtown creative community Chinatown Soup hosts an open mic called Spoken Soup, where artists share their poetry, short stories, and zines. Tonight at 8pm, the series will welcome FZF zinesters for a night of feminist fun.
Two of this year’s FZF organizers helped launch the collaboration with Chinatown Soup. Lili Finckel and Pooja Desai, who run the docu-zine collective and programming series Femme Mâché, curate the Chinatown Soup zine shop.
Suze Myers, Feminist Zinefest organizer, told us the collaboration with Chinatown Soup made sense because Femme Mâché “has a zine wall there and they often host smaller zine and craft markets, and the gallery itself is really a comfortable and cozy community space.”
Drink & Draw & Zine
If you’re inspired to make your own art, head to the New Woman Space in Williamsburg for an FZF edition of the ongoing Drink & Draw & Zine series. Models and drawing materials will be provided for two and a half hours at the March 2 event, which will raise funds for FZF to support zinesters traveling to the festival or with other financial need.
“We get applications from all over the world,” Myers said, “and bringing in people from outside of the tri-state area is a nice way to bring new and different perspectives (and zines!) to the table.”
New Woman Space is another natural collaborator for FZF. “Their sliding scale space rentals are kind of revolutionary for New York, and their programming is all by women and queer, gender-non-conforming, and trans folks,” said Myers.
NYC FZF Zine Reading
On March 30, head over to Bluestockings Bookstore for a reading featuring exhibiting zinesters. And honestly, where better to hear feminist artists read from their work? Myers describes the collectively-owned feminist bookstore as a “home away from home” for the fest and tells us there’s overlap between its tablers and the store’s volunteers.
NYC Feminist Zinefest 2019
Leave it to Barnard College to host the NYC Feminist Zinefest seven years running. Head uptown to 3009 Broadway on March 31 to browse tables full of feminist zines and other artwork. Myers says there’ll be plenty of first-time exhibitors this year. “It’s also exciting to see returning names like The Bettys, led by the powerhouse Aurora Diaz, or the Toronto-based Wheelhouse, and realize that our tablers are building a real feeling of community around this fest by coming back again and again.”