To Begin. Again.


An excerpt from the zine’s introduction:

Dear you,

May peace be upon you.

I hesitate to write trigger warnings because I do not know what triggers you. So, dear person, what I will say is that I hope you are gentle with yourself. I hope you have places and people to turn to during rough times, including when you are reading resources that you might find helpful, but can be hard to read. I hope that the existence of this zine will provide a form of support.

The content of this zine is a compilation of personal poems I wrote subsequent to experiencing simultaneous burn­out, heartbreaks, trauma/vicarious trauma, hopelessness, and isolation in the context of social justice organising (fighting against various forms of state/systemic/interpersonal violence and fighting for visions of justice and love).

I  was no longer the “activist” I once was in terms of particular forms and levels of “productivity”.  Everything felt complicated, hard and heavy. I turned the rage within me against myself.  I simultaneously felt that this unjust world was not for me, and that I was not meant for it. This was constant and exhausting. Times were beyond challenging, and I wanted to connect with others who had experienced what I was going through.

I remember wanting access to resources during that time, especially as someone who experiences the world at the intersection of many identities, including being a Racialised (i.e. of south asian origin & having a muslim background/identity in the global north) Queer Womxn, while being committed to anti­-colonial, anti­-capitalist, and intersectional feminist analysis and praxis.

With support from loved ones, I engaged in processes of healing that made most sense to me.  The spirit behind this zine is very much part of sharing an ongoing process of healing through visual and written art. My art intends to affirm the ferocity in existing, of resisting normative ways of thinking, being, and talking, norms that are too often reproduced even in social justice movement spaces.

After being part of several collectives—some, deeply empowering; others, not so much—I have come to realise that the collective spaces that I find inspiring are those that envision collective strength just as much as individual empowerment.  In turn, there is great strength when we—as individuals—allow ourselves to be vulnerable and choose to share our stories, as we work towards building movements, as we witness them fall apart, as we experience ourselves falling apart, and as we try to build these spaces and ourselves again. Although we can never claim to fully understand each other’s reality as it is constructed at the intersection of oppression, I do believe that we can galvanise solidarity through listening to/seeing/feeling each other’s experiences. Motivated by these reflections, I want to contribute to grassroots art by sharing these poems with you.

To request copies of this zine, you can contact me.

Copies are available for viewing/loan @ Artexte Library, and the South Asian Youth (SAY) library.

Copies available for purchase @ L’Euguélionne, librairie féministe.