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These Latina-Made Zines And Journals Will Keep Your Bookshelf Radical

Latinas, unsatisfied with our under- and mis- representation in mainstream media, are heading to the printers to change the narrative around our experiences through DIY zines.

The accessible art form is an underground megaphone of our generation with a rebellious spirit. Almost always submission-based, any one of us has the chance to be the next great Latinx storyteller. So, get started on that poem you’ve always wanted to write about your mami’s journey to the United States or that think piece about your experience as a person of color in academia, and start submitting or creating your own pubs.

We have a responsibility to write our own stories and project our own voices, and these zines are giving us all a chance to hop on the mic.

1. Muchacha Fanzine

Shoutout to @veggiemijas for the beautiful reflection of Madre Tierra ???? – copies still available on the link in my bio! Regrann from @veggiemijas – @muchachafanzine is a DIY Xicana Feminist Fanzine dedicated to promoting social consciousness and decolonizing minds. Recently, they came out with a zine called #MadreTierra and it is one of the most amazing zines we've ever seen–from interviews to articles to poetry and to covering beautiful WOC art that covers why environmentalism should matter to all of us. folks of color have been for the environment before they put a trendy name to it. our mothers reuse plastic bags, containers, and no one ever labeled them as environmentalists. this zine also goes out to our ancestors and indigenous activists that have died protecting their land. You can purchase this zine by messaging @muchachafanzine ! Thank y'all for this amazing work for those radicals folks of color that participated in this as well! ???? (Cover: Judithe Hernández) . . . . #veggiemijascollective #veggiemijas #muchachafanzine #madretierrazine #environmentalist #vegansofcolor #vegan #vegana

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Muchacha Fanzine is the Xicanx feminist zine with a goal of promoting social consciousness and helping to decolonize minds. With issues focusing on Madre Tierra, body positivity and decolonized travel, this zine is sure to change the conversation in big ways. So, pick up a few copies for yourself and a friend. You’ll definitely want to share this good word.

2. Life As Ceremony

∆ BECOME A SPONSOR ∆ Life As Ceremony is a committed advertisement-free publication. This will never change. It is also a co-creation and YOU are a vital part of that process. In order to sustain our work we are now accepting sponsor donations. You can join us in co-creating our volumes by donating as little as $10 to become a sponsor. As a thank you for your donation, your name will be listed as a Sponsor at the end of the volume we are working on when you donate! Life As Ceremony is an independent small business founded, curated & designed by me, a mother & woc. This is my work, putting together each volume, this IG account, this is what I think about & give my time to every single day. I do it all with love & pride. Each volume is also co-created by women who pour their whole hearts into what they share with you & donate their time, emotional labor & energy to make it happen. Each of our volumes is truly a labor of love. It's a little extra hard to post this today because there are so many people in need all over the world. But when I receive your messages, I HEAR & FEEL that this work is needed and I am incredibly humbled to be able to create the space for you to be seen & to see yourself. Your support, encouraging messages, purchases & donations will allow us to continue to bring you these important stories, beautiful art, exciting collaborations & much need narratives. With your donations we will also be able to donate copies of our volumes to different community spaces & organizations. Endless gratitude for your generosity. ???????? LINK IN BIO • ∆ 2nd PHOTO :: Via @hijadeitzpapalotl

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Print journals do not get much more beautiful, or much more important, than Life As Ceremony. This bi-annual publication is curated by a group of womxn, all sharing their wisdom and perspective on certain, and selected themes. Previous volumes have focused on ancestors, healing and sex. Everything about this perfectly crafted journal will have your life feeling a bit more ceremonious.

3. Xicx Zine

Xicx Zine is actually a collective on a mission to create community without borders, one that shares stories and illuminates the voices of Latinxs through zines, workshops and events. Not only is this boss collective promoting their own work, they’re also so supportive of other zine-makers in the community. Give these xicxs a follow to stay up on all things zines.

4. High Mija

If you’re looking for some quality smoke sesh reading material, look no further than High Mija. Bridging the gap between stoner culture and Latinidad is at the core of this DIY zine. We dig the pages filled with psychedelic illustrations and fond memories of people’s first encounter with Maria Juana. However, what we love most is their dedication to reclaiming the herb from the hippie subculture and shining a spotlight on its indigenous roots.

5. Chiflada Zine

Chifladazine Fall 2017 is out now!! Link in bio ✨❣️

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“A zine dedicated to creative Latinas y Latinxs everywhere” is the core statement of Chiflada Zine, a submission-based pub that is calling for more representation. “Chiflada,” meaning “bratty,” is the perfect name for a zine that isn’t afraid to go after the media for its lack of Latinx representation. Featuring poems, essays, stories and art from Latinxs all over the world, this zine is sure to have you feeling seen regardless of the gringo-ran media.

6. All Sex Workers Go To Heaven Zine

All Sex Workers Go To Heaven is the zine for queer sex workers of color by queer sex workers of color. In a society that dehumanizes sex work and the femmes who do it, this zine offers a space for Black and brown sex workers to display their stories and art. We can’t get over these pages filled with the voices of those in our community who are resisting societal norms and revolutionizing the conversation around all the ways to get it how you get it.

7. La Liga Zine

If your profile bio mentions anything about “disrupting neoliberal white supremacist media outlets and monopolies,” which would be the best bio ever, then you’ll definitely need to pick up each copy of La Liga Zine. On a mission to “function as a bridge between virtual safe spaces and real life experiences for the current and future Latinx generations to explore liberation,” this zine is in a league of its own.

8. St. Sucia

If you’ve ever tried to pray away a hangover, or light a candela after a bad hookup, then St. Sucia is your patron saint of the struggle. She’s even got her own zine! Filled with stories, poetry and essays “exposing what it is to be a mujer,” these aren’t the stories your mama or tías need to hear, either. St. Sucia was created to share those stories and experiences we don’t want to share, but often need to hear. This is the type of saint we need answering our prayers.

9. La Horchata Zine

La Horchata Zine is a seasonal publication filled with stories and art that highlight the experiences of those with Central American ancestry. This zine is not afraid to shed light on the critical issues that face many Latinxs, and specifically our Central American hermanxs of the diaspora, and highlight the work of artists and writers who are so often ignored.

10. A Very Feminist Zine

(???? by @avargasphoto of @ewokgia) Hey babies! So, we’re putting together another “Weirdo of Colour” zine to be a companion to something we’ve got in the works that we’ll announce shortly. This zine will focus on sex, love, kink, sex work, bdsm, heartbreak, fetishism, etc through the eyes and lives of POC. If you are interested in submitting, send submissions to negritasodiosas@gmail.com (NO DMs PLZ!) Poetry, short essays (no more than 350 words) photography, paintings, sketches, mixed media are welcome. Please submit no more than 3 pieces. AND THIS TIME WE WILL ACCEPT COLOR SUBMISSIONS! Thanks y’all! Look forward to seeing your beautiful work. ???????? • • • • • Deadline is June 4. • • #zine #art #submit #poc #qpoc #fetish #kink #bdsm #sex #erotica #love #pain #pleasure #heartache #nycart #bronxart #pocartists

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The brainchild of Bronx activist collective Odiosas, A Very Feminist Zine doesn’t have a notable amount of hardcopy zines for you to get your hands on. This gives it a very elusive, underground feel. The first issue, titled “The Woes of Being a Weirdo of Colour,” features writings and art by and for Latinxs who experience life on the societal fringe. They recently held an open call for submissions for volume two of the series, and we can’t wait to get our manos on a copy.

11. Colocha-Head

Colocha-Head is the hand-written, color printed zine centered on crucial issues facing our current generation of young Latinxs, including topics like anti-blackness in our community and abolishing the notion that Eurocentric beauty standards are the norm. Reclaiming the word “colocha,” Central American and Mexican slang for “curly-haired,” and using it represent our collective experiences is at the heart of this zine. So let your pelo down and grab a copy.

Read: Breena Nuñez Peralta Is An Afro-Salvadoran-Guatemalan Artist Making Cartoons About Black Central Americans

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After Four Years Of The #OscarsSoWhite Movement, The Academy Awards Is Inviting Its Creator, April Reign

Entertainment

After Four Years Of The #OscarsSoWhite Movement, The Academy Awards Is Inviting Its Creator, April Reign

In 2015, the Academy Awards looked much different than they do today. Back then “Birdman” took home the Oscar for Best Movie. Actresses nominated included Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, and Reese Witherspoon. Steve Carell was nominated for Best Actor, as was Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, and Eddie Redmayne. There’s no subtleness that in 2015, movies lacked diversity and social media aimed for the Academy’s failure to recognize actors of color and films with proper representation.

The lack of diversity in 2015, prompted April Reign to use the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, and it quickly went viral.

Reign’s brilliant hashtag sparked much-needed dialogue about representation in Hollywood and the recognition of people of color at the Oscars. The following year the Academy invited more actors and creatives in Hollywood to be part of this exclusive group in order to represent diversity. In 2015 they invited  322 new members, in 2016 they invited 683 more, and in 2018, they invited another 928. Talk about inclusiveness.

If you’re wondering whether or not, #OscarsSoWhite worked, just look at the diverse group of people and films nominated this year including the first Mexican indigenous actress, Yalitza Aparicio.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, this year’s Academy Awards are the most diverse ever. Thanks to social change via social media, people of color are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

“It’s not about saying who is snubbed and who should have been nominated, it’s about opening the discussion more on how the decisions were made, who was cast and who tells the story behind the camera,” Reign told Huffington Post in 2016. “My goal was just to have the conversation and push the dialogue further.”

To thank Reign for her incredible work, the Academy has invited her to attend this year’s Oscars.

“I’ve been holding this secret for nearly a year!” Reign said in a tweet about her exciting invitation.

“After creating the hashtag and working for almost five years to turn it into a movement that not only changed the Academy but made its way into so many other industries, I feel immense pride and a sense of coming full circle, back to the where it all began,” Reign told The Hollywood Reporter. “The work continues, but I am thrilled to be able to celebrate the incremental progress that has been made, even if only for a night.”

She added that seeing films such as “Roma” and “BlacKkKlansman” is proof as to the success of her social media campaign.

“I’m going to give myself permission to think that the work that I and many who believe in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion have done is having an impact,” she told the publication. “Seeing Spike nominated is a very public validation of that work. Nevertheless, the daily work of [#OscarsSoWhite] is for all marginalized people, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, age, or disability, to have opportunities they didn’t before.”

As far as who he will be her plus one to the event, Reign said she is taking her son.

READ: The Power Of Women Of Color Is Strong In Both “One Day At A Time” And “Black Panther” And If You Want More, You Better Go Watch

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Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

Entertainment

Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

It’s no secret that Latinas are severely underrepresented in television and media. In fact, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that only seven percent of 2017’s top 100 films featured Latina actresses. For this reason, a film like “Alita: Battle Angle” should be a big deal but the movie’s Latina casting has many claiming Asian erasure. “Alita: Battle Angel” is a futuristic cyberpunk film produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau. The movie adapted from the popular Yukito Kishiro manga “Gunnm” is set in a sci-fi-filled future, cyborg Alita struggles to find her place in a world she has no memory of. Out February 14, 2019, this film has been in the works for years. Pre-production began in the early 2000s but was delayed due to Cameron’s work on “Avatar” and its sequels. The film is directed by Sundance Festival Award-winning director Robert Rodriguez.

With a pack of creative behemoths at its back, the new film brings a mass of brilliant storylines and stunning visuals.  However, it’s the cast behind “Alita” that’s creating buzz.

The role of the film’s main character and futuristic cyborg is played by Peruvian-Canadian actress Rosa Salazar of “Bird Box”.

Kodansha Comics

Using motion capture technology, the film uses CGI to depict Alita in her robotic form. Despite the fact that so many minorities often see the occurrence of a Latina star in a major motion picture as cause to celebrate, there are concerns over the issue of non-Japanese women taking on the role of a character from a Japanese source. Erasure of Alita’s Japanese background has been met with criticism and backlash since the film’s early production days. The controversy was first sparked back in 2016 with Salazar’s initial casting. Critics were quick to say that the casting of a non-Asian as Alita was another example of Asian erasure in Hollywood. The debate gained new life after the first trailer for the movie was released in December 2017.

This time, it was Alita’s overwhelmingly large eyes that gave viewers pause. Large, expressive eyes are a stylistic element used in Japanese anime and manga. Some viewers felt that keeping this characteristic but with a non-Asian character was tantamount to whitewashing the film.

“It signals to the audience, ‘Yes this is Japanese and we’re not trying to erase the source material,’” Vice contributor Carli Velocci wrote of the new movie. “Yet that’s what they’re doing. Alita’s eyes are the only thing that is distinctly Japanese about the movie, which features no main Japanese actors or characters.”

Whitewashing has been an issue before in major Hollywood films such as “Ghost In The Shell” and “Aloha.” In both of these examples, characters confirmed to be Asian were played by white women. Marvel’s “Iron Fist” and “Doctor Strange” are also guilty of this casting error.

These examples make it seem like “Alita” is a clear case of whitewashing but the situation is more nuanced than that.

Twitter / @unnecesarus

To better understand the controversy of this claim, we need to explore the origin of the film’s story. Yukito Kishiro created “Gunnm” in Japan during the 1990s but the manga doesn’t take place during that same era. Instead, “Gunnm” is set in a futuristic world in a city called Iron City. This dystopian city is located in what is essentially the midwest. Despite heritage, Kishiro didn’t write a story with explicitly Asian characters.

“The author, Yukito Kishiro, did something very different: He wrote manga that is not set in an Asian world,” producer Landau shared. “He wrote it set in a place called Iron City, which is a melting pot. He actually set it in Kansas.”

It’s not unusual for creators to set their worlds in places unique or foreign to their own homes. Manga and anime especially have entire subgenres that set stories in far off places. For example, the “Gundam” series and many other titles of mecha Animation are often set in outer space or a futuristic society. Other subgenres of sci-fi animation also follow this pattern.

Still, some fans argue that “Alita: Battle Angel” is a Japanese product which means there is an expectation of race.

Twitter / @nico_nothere

Julian Abagond, a New York blogger who writes about race and culture, explained this way of thinking.

“If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being,” he wrote. “Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters ‘look Asian.’ They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.”

Understanding this cultural position adds another layer to the question of Alita’s race. Still, if she is Asian, explicitly or not, this raises a new debate. Replacing marginalized people with white actors has been an issue in Hollywood since the beginning of the film. White characters in “yellowface” were used to represent Asian characters in media. It’s an act that is overwhelmingly panned in today’s society.

So, if we’ve established that it’s not okay for white characters to play minorities, where do we stand on the subject of minorities playing other minorities?

20th Century Fox

Taking traditionally white characters and reimagining them as people of color has become a recurring trope in media. In “Deadpool 2,” fan favorite Domino – who is white in comics – was played by black actress Zazie Beetz. “Spider-man: Homecoming” featured Zendaya as white character Mary Jane Watson. These changes bring a much need dose of representation to products otherwise lacking diversity

However, is it okay to make similar changes to a character who may also be a minority? With Alita’s unknown, possibly Asian ethnicity, does casting her as a Latina add representation or erase her true culture?

Since the situation is so nuanced, there’s no clear answer when it comes to Alita but the general answer would be erasure. Changing characters from one underrepresented group to another doesn’t further the cause of seeing our stories depicted in media. Instead, it just perpetuates the deletion of narratives that need to be heard.

Regardless of this controversy, early reviews of the futuristic “Alita: Battle Angel” say it’s sure to be a blockbuster thriller. As a result, maybe a big box office will lead to even more movies featuring Latina star power. Only, next time, hopefully, our characters will be featured in stories of our own.

Read: ‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

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