Monday, April 30, 2012

Meet Librarian/Zinester/Lower East Sider Jenna Freedman

Editor's Note:  I kind of didn't know where to stop with the post's title, because one needs a lot of words to describe Jenna, who is also a bike rider, blogger, cat lover, vegan, and writer of popular and scholarly articles on the subject of zines (those often "tight-place" publications), zines and feminism, and zines and print culture.  She also founded and oversees the famous zine collection at Barnard College (where I proudly served as her zine intern for a semester) and is a founding member of Radical Reference.  In addition to this, I admire how out and about Jenna is, how dedicated she is to zines and libraries, open access, DIY culture, and preserving riot grrrl history and feminist movements:   she has been on panels regarding  these and related subjects at Bluestocking Books, the Lower East Side Girls Club, ABC No Rio, and libraries, infoshops, and zine fairs not only in New York, but all over the country.  Last summer, she and three other zinester librarians went on a super cool ZINE TOUR (in a van, punk rock style) which you can read about here.  Check out what she's doing this week at the Brooklyn Museum's Elizabeth Sackler Center (home of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, btw).

In Conversation: Jenna Freedman and Josh MacPhee on DIY Feminism
Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 7 p.m.Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Forum, 4th Floor.

Jenna Freedman, librarian at the Barnard Zine Library, and Josh MacPhee, founder of Interference Archive, discuss the evolution of feminist print culture. They trace its trajectory from activist poster making, offset printing, and graffiti in the late 1970s and early 80s to the rise of the feminist zine in the 90s.This program is free with Museum admission.

And now, Jenna answers our four questions:  

1. Are you in a tight place? If so, what are you trying to do about it?
At about 600 square feet, my current one-bedroom apartment is the biggest I've lived in since a three bedroom I shared with my then-boyfriend and two roommates in Greenpoint right after college. I live on Rivington St. with my spouse and two gray tabbies. While I wouldn't mind having my own space, I don't consider my apartment a tight place. My mind, however, is a very tight place. What I'm trying to do about that is unplug from work just a teeny bit--let go of my perfectionism and accept that there are limits to what I can get done, which sucks.

2. What do you want to get done this year?
Mostly I just want to catalog zines.

3. What inspires you?  That's kind of not how I am. I admire other people's accomplishments, but rather than inspire me, they make me feel like I'm not doing enough.

4. What is your favorite legwear?  Aside from black tights, which I assume is a given, lately I'm really into socks with toes. My spouse bought me two pairs for my birthday (so I could wear socks with my slippers!). A friend made a comment about how some of the best things come from the intersection of ridiculousness and love.

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