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Women Rising

The artists’ books and zines featured here spring from the continuing global movement to secure equal rights and treatment for women. The forms and formats vary from the pragmatic—a simple zine reprinting an earlier feminist text, updated and made available again in a new context—to the elaborately hand-crafted. 

Fortune Teller

Malini Gupta
Fortune Teller
[Portland, Oregon]: Ochre (art + design), 2016

Gupta’s book uses a stunning combination of forms to relate her girlhood experiences, along with data about gender-based inequality in India. “As the reader takes this journey with me from my childhood to teenage years, the deeply entrenched biases come to life. I wanted to give the reader the statistics of gender bias, but also my personal story so the mundane numbers would become real.” (Quotation from the artist’s statement.) 

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Aisha Khalid
Name, Class, Subject
[London]: Raking Leaves, 2009

What looks like a mundane, blank notebook is a painstakingly hand-painted reproduction of pages from two types of exercise book from the artist’s education in government schools in Pakistan—one type from classes in English, and the other from classes in Urdu. “The book is produced from over three hundred original two-sided paintings of ruled pages painted in the traditional Mughal style of miniature painting, making each printed page unique.” (Quotation from the publisher’s website.) 

UNC Library Catalog:

Sofia Szamosi
#MeToo on Instagram
[New York, N.Y.]: [Sofia Szamosi], [2018]

Working with Instagram posts from one year after Harvey Weinstein’s crimes came to light in 2017, Szamosi’s book explores how a movement’s meaning can spread, morph, and become diffuse through social media. “Does the evolution of the hashtag into a catch-all mean that it’s been oversaturated and consequently drained of meaning? Or maybe that its meaning is collective, in creative flux?” (Quotation from the artist’s introduction.) 

UNC Library Catalog:

Mariame Kaba, et al.
Trying to Make the Personal Political
Chicago, IL: Half Letter Press, 2017

This pamphlet from artist-run publisher Half Letter Press reprints an important document of second-wave feminism, “Consciousness-Raising Guidelines” (1975), along with essays about its context, its limitations, and continuing relevance. “After a 2016 general election when the first woman nominee of a major party (Hillary Clinton) lost after being widely expected to win, this publication is particularly timely.” (Quotation from the foreword by Mariame Kaba.)

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