Interview with a Zinester: Sy Abudu!

We’re getting super close! As the date comes nearer, check out our next fab interview with Sy Abudu, who you can also find on Tumblr or at their website.

B&w photo of Sy looking down at a book amidst book-filled shelves.
B&w photo of Sy looking down at a book amidst book-filled shelves.

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

I’m an Angeleno turned Brooklynite who works as a multimedia producer in higher ed. My zines and visual art center around found images of African-Americans. I scour everywhere from the Library of Congress to Etsy to my family’s own photo albums to find the images I use in my work.

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

I’ve been a closet print and design geek ever since I can remember, so it was only a matter of time before I happened upon the world of zines. Over the years I’ve built up a sizable collection, but it wasn’t until my friend told me about last year’s Black Lesbian Zine Fest that I worked up the nerve to exhibit my own work. I published my first zine in October and now I’m hooked.

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

I’m always creating from a feminist stance so feminism appears in all of my work, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly. But despite that (or because of it, really), it’s so important to be able to create and exhibit work in safe, inclusionary spaces like this zine fest. Being a queer, feminist, WOC most often means having to constantly shout just to be heard; this zine fest (and others like it) are a necessary reprieve for underrepresented artists.

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

Some of my favorite zines are Katie So’s Destined for MiseryRobert Norman’s The Ways to Hold Hands and When to Use Them, and Atelier Bingo’s Wogoo Zoogi.

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

I think I’m too unfamiliar with kitchens (and their appliances) to sincerely answer this question. My friend said to put Seamless as my kitchen appliance.

Finally, who are some of the other zinesters you’re excited to see at this year’s feminist zine fest?

Oh, so, so many…Sarah Mangle, Big Womyn Press, Hetrick-Martin Institute: Women Speak, and Hazel Newlevant just to name a few.


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