In the spirit of Gloria Anzaldúa, Finding Gloria: Nos/otras is an independent zine featuring the words and art of various contributors. Anzaldúa was a writer, poet, and artist whose work focused mostly on her identities as a woman, Chicana, lesbian, feminist, etc. The title of the zine comes from Anzaldúa’s work, some of the contributors work directly in projects honoring her, and many of the pieces cite Anzaldúa or use her style of writing.
As Noemi “hermana, resist” Martinez explains in the very first page, this is a zine for those trying to create a space for themselves – a space that might be affected by the dominant culture, but that tries to break free from that dominant culture as much as possible. The basis of this is the term “Nos/otras” created by Anzaldúa herself: “nos” is the Spanish subject for “we” and “otras” is the Spanish word for “other.” Anzaldúa combined them to show that it’s impossible to view ourselves as separate from the other, or the other as separate from ourselves.
With these concepts in mind, the work included in this zine takes on a fresh perspective. The very first image you see (which happens to be one of my favorites in the zine) is the work of Celeste de Luna and it is that of two women standing on opposite sides of a river. The women appear to be similar in age and each is a mother with children who are also close in age, yet their differences shine through in their appearance, particularly their clothing, and in the way they carry themselves. They have things in common, yet they remain divided.
As a big fan of Anzaldúa’s work, it meant a lot to me to see her legacy live on in the works of these other women. The contributors are obviously inspired by her and continue to build on her work with their own poems, collages, drawings, etc.
It has been a few years since I got my hands on a homemade zine, and I think this style lends itself well to the content within those pages. Sometimes the page numbers or other text were cut off, some of the images were hard to make out because of the resolution of the print, and so forth, but I think the energy and emotion is still captured.