When I was invited to teach at Uniarts Helsinki, I knew I wanted to make a zine! I had been invited to Helsinki to give a keynote for the M/other Becomings symposium, so it made sense to make a zine centered around the theme of motherhood and otherness. It was a class of just three students – Aino, Milda, and Katinka & it became a space where the students explored their relationship to motherhood and otherness.
I was moved by the results – Aino wrote a fantastic piece around class and sexual violence; Milda included dictionary meanings for the word “mother” and a letter to her unborn daughter in English, Estonian, and Finnish. Katinka created a beautiful collage around “conflict mothering” – that looked into issues such as Palestine as well as the layout of the zine. I had the opportunity to interview Wambui Njuguna-Raisanen – an E.RYT 500 & TCYM-T certified yoga teacher passionate about integrating her practice with anti-racism work.
This circle demonstrated the radical creative power of zine making and was a great reminder of why I chose this medium to work with. I’m confident that all my co creators will say the same. I look forward to staying in touch with these outstanding young thinkers – and following their lives as they forge their authentic selves in this world.
I signed up for the course because I thought the name seemed intriguing. What is motherhood and motherhood? Even though I wasn’t sure how much I had to contribute as I was not yet a mother, I signed up anyway.
I learned a lot about motherhood – and to open up my own views of the world. To be more open to be proven wrong or to see the world in a different light. The great thing is not knowing everything but having an open mind and heart. I’ve learned something about motherhood and the mothers in my life.
The workshop has been intense, fun, and in many ways eye-opening! A feeling of empowerment lingers – different people gather around a theme with many meanings. I’m left feeling grateful and proud of the zine we made together, and I’m full of new thoughts and inspiration for the future! – Katinka
Making this zine was a plunge into the deep pond of M/otherhood…
I felt intimidated at first… I wanted to mix a sociological article…(exploring) feminity, respectability, class, and autofiction about working-class motherhood. This proved to be a scary start. I almost wrote to Lesley-Ann that I couldn’t do it… I was not brave, radical, or free enough for this work.
I wrote something. Then, I felt unsure again.
At the end of the process, I am happy I took the time to write about this subject. I need to get rid of the fear! Writing zines seems to be an excellent way to start. You learn about yourself, too, in the process.
I am grateful for the process and thank Lesley Ann for introducing me to a new world of writing and self-publishing. I love it.