Interview with a Zinester: Stephanie Basile!

Stephanie Basile of Suburban Blight offers the next interview. We’re excited to share it and we hope to see everyone who’s in NYC tonight at the FZF reading at Bluestockings!

Seated zinester wearing a t-shirt reading from a paper.
Seated zinester wearing a t-shirt reading from a paper.

Kindly give us a short description of yourself and the work you do.

I am a union organizer and I work on campaigns organizing retail workers. Oh, and I write a zine.

How did you get introduced to zines? Were you influenced by anyone?

I was first introduced to zines in high school by my creative writing teacher, but didn’t discover political zines until college. A college classmate did an online zine called Brainbox, and that’s what first gave me the idea for my own zine. It was very political and anti-authoritarian.

What does it mean to do “feminist zine-making”? Does feminism appear in your work (explicitly or implicitly)?

To me both feminism and zine-making are empowering processes through which we can gain agency by speaking with our own voice in an uncensored way. Feminist zine-making gives the zinester all the decision-making power and creative control over their own work. It creates space for voices that may not be heard in other venues.

What is your favorite zine or piece of mail art? Do you like any specific style/part of a zine?

I really can’t pick just one! I know, it’s a cop out answer! All zines are wonderful and deserve to be read.

If you could sum up your zinester life in a kitchen appliance, what appliance would it be?

A tea kettle. Sometimes it’s quiet for long periods of time but when it has something to say it bursts out of the seams and makes sure everyone knows.
Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

Some of my favorite NYC zinesters are Jenna Freedman, Elvis Bakaitis, and Kate Angell. I am also hoping to bump into some out-of-town zinesters.


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