08 May 2011

QUANTIFY 5 [by Lauren Martin]

I bought this copy of Quantify at the Toronto Women's Bookstore.  The last time I was there, they had a great selection of zines.  It has been a while since then, however, and I can't vouch for their current inventory.

Quantify 5 is a great zine.  Lauren is an intelligent and critical writer, and she engages very well with her topics and views.  The main focus of this issue is the intersection of gender and race in feminism, academia and art.  Lauren's discussions of this topic expertly show its complexities.  Much of what she writes about centres on seen identity in dominant and alternative cultures and how that identity influences the rights of individuals. 

One article in this issue does veer away from political discussions on identity and speaks about the zinester's urge to create art and about the importance of the act of creating art to the survival of the human creature.  She briefly writes about do-it-yourself (DIY) art, "I also have a hearty appreciation for that which is DIY.  Making shit yourself is a fucking radical concept.  Crafting is a political act in that it can enable one to opt out of a consumerist culture."  I love when zines politicize crafting!

I don't think that you can order copies of Lauren's zines anymore.  But, the next time you are at a zine library, like the Toronto Zine Library or the Independent Publishing Resource Centre, definitely seek out her work.