Zinester Interview 04
BodyTalk is produced by:
Editor: Joseph Beeman
Art Director: Sarah Handelman,USA
Sarah Handelman talks about BodyTalk:
How would you describe your zine?
BodyTalk is a zine that speaks frankly about sexuality, bodies and reproductive health. It is rooted in the belief that cooperative, judgment-free discussion of our own experiences is the key to achieving equality and freedom. It hopes to unveil, challenge and redefine issues that are not talked about enough and seeks to engage young people in the movement to fight for the protection and legitimization of individuals from all sexual narratives.
What can your zine do that a mainstream publication can't?
Unlike many publications that survive on advertising revenue,BodyTalk thrives on the contributions from people of many backgrounds and experiences. We print pieces that would normally be seen as a risk in mainstream publications. Instead, the varied writing and art are, simply, avenues to challenge ideas and further conversations about sexuality. Submissions are not selected to 'fit in' with a particular voice; rather, each publication aims to recognize that every experience is unique and valid.
Does the look of a zine matter?
I think the look of a zine matters initially. If you want it to be noticed among the others, it should do something visually to compel the reader to pick it up. However, to go back to the second question, zines don't have to surrender to the idea of putting a celebrity on the cover with horrifically large type. Among other things, folding, size and color can enhance the content of whatever the zine is about. For me, no matter the subject, all interesting zines are about process. What was the process of making it? What sort of a journey will people go on when they open the zine? More important than having a look, even the most basic xeroxed zine must have an attitude that avoids succumbing to trends (specifically visual ones) and constantly challenges our perception of how zines — or any publication — are supposed to look.
Please recommend a zine for us and tell us why.
Mel Kadel is an artist who makes limited runs of screen-printed and hand-stained zines. Each one has a strong visual narrative, but all of her illustrations also stand well on their own. For me, Mel's zines feel and act how zines should — every part is an extension of the artist, writer or contributors. Down to the paper, Mel's zines are completely unique.