At the open mic at the end of the day, Ocean Capewell read from the latest issue of High on Burning Photographs. She allowed me to publish her reading below. Read it and see why I was so excited to snap the zine up for Barnard:
When is it time to make another zine?
oh, you know: when you're going to die of boredom if you're on the internet one more second. when you're reading books about riot grrrl that remind you that you were a part of something that was actually cool. when you do a little zine reading at the library and everyone in the audience, strangers and friends alike, is so damn supportive of you and your work that you feel nourished, that you remember why you're here and what you're supposed to be doing, you remember that sharing stories is the best antidote to going crazy.
it's time to write another zine when you miss, so painfully, that slightly sweaty spot between your ex-girlfriend's breasts that felt like home, and now it's a castle that you're banished from forever, but you can still write about her; you can always have her in that realm.
time to make another zine when your day-to-day life is kind of desk-job-y and boring and you're feeling so old, even though you're not really that old in calendar time, and you just sit at your desk quietly all day and your co-workers regard you as this completely unthreatening dull girl because they can't see your scars, your tattoos or your heart beating beneath the layers of business-casual outfits. but you know you're more than just a paper-pushing government employee, you know you've lived your life as courageously as you can, now that you've had lots of interesting thoughts and crazy times. and writing about them, handing these stories out to friends and strangers makes them real.
time to write another zine because even though you're in a steady relationship you still want to be seductive & it's so much easier to do that with words on a page than in real life; in real life you get nervous and shaky and things usually don't come out right. time to write another zine when you've got things to say but everyone you want to say them to is dead or won't answer your phone calls, but maybe if you put it all out there into the world, they'll get it, somehow. time to write another zine when you want to do something but you don't know what, so why not make another one. you're 28 now, you started making zines when you were 14, so now it's half your life spent cutting and pasting and xeroxing. been making zines for longer than you went to school, longer than you've ever lived in one house, longer than you've done anything, pretty much, so why not, why not do another one?
Ocean Capewell. High on Burning Photographs, #6. Pittsburgh, PA. 2010.
Other zines I got at the event, all for free:
The Fat Problem, debunking health, gender and sexuality myths about fat people, especially fat women
The Fuck Your Bean Zine, feminist compilation zine
Femme Shark Communique #1, All Our Holes Are Hungry: Hungry for Justice and Fucking, radical inclusive femmes
How to Make a Zine, cute mini
It's Time to Make a Zine, wordless (except title) one-page-folding-zine
Ker-bloom! #77, hat bands--where bands are constructed by picking members' names out of a hat
Learning Good Consent, ask! tell!
Shouts to the Editor, created at a workshop I helped lead at the Andy Warhol Museum
This Building Is Bigoted about disabilities and social constructs, "What's really being said here is that stairs are more important than people with disabilities, and if a person is unable to enter a building because of stairs, then it's the person's fault, and they are inherently damaged. / Rather than work towards more inclusive environments with ramps instead of stairs, we instead point to people with disabilities and decide they are the ones with problems."
Weird Animals, one-page 20-minute zine
The Zine Circle, includes an unforgettable essay by Ocean Capewell about going through security with a vibrator in her bag, also a contribution by our beloved Jude Vachon