September 10, 2014

Zine: Coalition Mag Vol I Issue II

Cool babes doing it right.

The medium of a zine holds many uses and is a tool in the therapeutic process of storytelling. Coalition Mag is the world through the eyes of women of color. It privileges, exemplifies and honors these voices and the lived experiences of those inhabiting brown bodies. On the first page of volume one, issue two there is a brief explanatory description of Coalition and in the ending states, “while challenging academia and shallow definitions of feminism,” seting the tone for the rest of the zine to come. As a feminist publication by women of color, “shallow feminism” is not even in their repertoire. The feminist work about to be displayed in the zine is such that is aware and concerned with the multiple intersections of our lives, pulsing with pride and confidence. To deny such would be to deny large aspects of women of colors' lives, and would not be their full reality. As a woman of color, the work and subject matter was very familiar and relatable, with topics ranging from a piece entitled “Black Music, White Fans: Contemporary Rap and It’s Listeners” by Ola Faleti to raw, erotic poetry dealing with female sexuality.

Overall there's a good range of material with a clean minimalist format and chunks of color in the form of photography and drawings. The juxtaposition of the two creates something that is easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. The usage of the online zine not only makes the work more accessible to readers but does not take away from the visuals as print often can.

The zine is split into two sections: the first consists of essays, poems and interviews in combination with visual art, while the second is a collection of creative women. Titled “Cool Babes Doing Cool Things," this portion features upcoming and just generally imaginative female artists, writers, designers and zinesters that might perhaps stay under the radar without Coalition. The descriptive preface ends with “everything is ours, whether they tell us or not. everything is ours, whether they like it or not.” This introduction gets at the essence of Coalition: women doing their artwork, pushing against societal notions of their capacity and place while dealing with systems of oppression that they must encounter every day. In pushing against that, they are expressing their truth “whether they like it or not.” This act of defiance is a feminist act in itself.

Coalition brings these gems to light in order for them to shine. “Cool Babes Doing Cool Things” had to be one of my favorite parts of the zine (not to say that I didn’t adore the rest). It's not often we're able to find a grouping of original, fresh women of color compiled in one simple package in order to use as a guide of who to check out. All the Tumblr and blog searching for “cool babes” is essentially done for you.

Read the full issue here.


Judith Jones is a writer, blogger and angry intersectional feminist from the South. When she is not reading feminist theory, making zines or eating donuts she can be found on Twitter and Tumblr.