Our next interview is with zinester Maggie Negrete, a.k.a. mgglnt! Read on for musings.
Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.
I am a native of SW Pennsylvania and Vassar College alum that has pursued far reaching academic interests (chemistry, latin american history, linguistics) but has found myself deeply rooted in my community of Pittsburgh as an artist, educator and community organizer. My work ranges from typography, illustration, and relief printing to installation and graphic design. I love solving problems with my art and helping my students and neighbors actualize their ideas through art-making as well. I feel lucky to teach for MGR Youth Empowerment, to work at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and to organize the Pittsburgh Zine Fair
How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?
I started making art books in high school and inevitably, someone said the word “ZINE”. It wasn’t until college that I began working on an Anarchist zine at Vassar with the Catalyst working group. This experience was fundamental to my interest in making zines as I saw the impact they had on community organizing and radical info sharing. Nowadays, I find myself surrounded by amazing zinesters: photographers, writers, cartoonists, etc. and have to give a hardy shout out to my local Zine Librarian, Jude Vachon for being the best advocate and steward of zines in Pittsburgh.
What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?
Feminism is a core facet to my art-making and has been since my first independent projects in high school. I am fascinated by the role of womyn in society and how there is often a large dichotomy between their fragile depictions in literature and on screen versus the dynamic womyn I have had in my own life. Oftentimes, my feminism is tied to the occult, especially early paganism/shamanism that acknowledges the strength of female deities and womyn as leaders in their communities. With the rise of Judeo-Christian and patriarchal societies, these spiritualities and mythologies were supplanted and co-opted to favor masculine narratives. Feminist zine-making, in my mind, is tied to the reclamation of the power, the voice and presence of womyn in society that was taken through manipulating history and demonizing feminine power. Womyn need a platform, and zines are the kind of radical vehicle to carry our voices without hindrance.
What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?
OMG I CAN’T PICK ONE ZINE. I love fancy art-book esque zines and I love cut-n-paste zines all the same. My favorite part of a zine is probably the sheer fact that it exists, that someone had an idea and brought it to life
If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?
Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?
I am excited to finally meet Annie Mok (who was unable at the last minute to come for the Pgh Zine Fair) and to see the work of Sarah Mangle because I love coloring books!!