Not Gay as in boring vegetables but Queer as in Wild Fermentation!

Wild Fermentation coverToday is “Review a Zine” Day of International Zine Month, and the zine we’re talking about is Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Whenever we get asked “what’s your favorite zine in the collection?” Wild Fermentation is always toward the top of the list.

Initially published in 2001, this zine has since spawned a series of books by Sandor Katz (also entitled Wild Fermentation), a website, and an ongoing series of workshops, knowledge shares, and a whole community of positively passionate pickle people.

The zine itself (at least our copy) is entirely text-based. It’s basically a cookzine, but focused on making all sorts of fermented foods. From sauerkraut to pickles to miso to sour dough bread, it’s all about harnessing microbes to make and preserve different things to eat.

Our copy came to us as part of the first large collection of zines that we got as a donation. Honza, a member of our queer punk community in the Bay Area, passed away, and when his chosen family was gathering his things, his zines were sent to us with the request that we would keep them together and honor his memory.

The thing that’s super special about our copy is that Honza used it to press wild flowers and small plants between the pages. From a preservation and archival standpoint, this is not so great, but we’ve kept them in place because to us this represents both him and how we see the zines in our collection as a whole. Important enough to preserve, with the ability to tell stories even when we’re not around, and both precious and non-permanent.

Philosophy aside, we also love Wild Fermentation because it’s a teaching zine. Zines are amazing ways to learn and spread knowledge, and this does that with total ease. I (milo) use his recipes all the time, especially when making kosher dill pickles, kraut, and my own version of asazuke, a spicy dikon, carrot, and hot pepper ferment that I use in vegan banh mi.

Wild Fermentation (the 2001 version) can be found in our digital archive, and Sandor’s books Wild Fermentation, The Art of Fermentation, and Fermentation as Metaphor can be purchased from shortmountaincultures.com.

Aborting Mission Should Be Your Volition

Rock for Choice ad from the back cover of Teen Fag #2, 1993Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began we were thinking about trying to write a thing about zines that talk abut using herbs and DIY abortion. Then came the pandemic, and in the U.S., the confirmation of another anti-abortion supreme court justice, who, it’s speculated, will work to overturn the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized pregnancy termination.

We kind of hate that we have to write this at all, but the ongoing attacks on reproductive freedom and healthcare across the world make this necessary. Everybody should have access to the healthcare they need, full stop. This means being able to make informed choices about reproductive options including different methods of contraception, pregnancy and childbirth, and the ability to end a pregnancy as desired.

A couple of notes:

  1. The following links were not digitized by us at QZAP. Abortion and reproductive healthcare are absolutely queer and trans issues, but these zines are maybe outside of our collection policy scope. As such, they are not necessarily up to our standards for digitization, nor can we assure that the original creators permissions were sought before these were put online.
  2. These zines are intended to be informational and not “how-to” manuals. If you need to get an abortion or know someone who might, try contacting Planned Parenthood (in the U.S.) or The International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion (global)
  3. A lot of the research for this (short) list came from Jenna Freedman’s article Unreproductive: Zines on Herbal Abortion and Menstrual Extraction at Zinelibraries.info, which is focused library holdings, and the Let’s Talk About DIY Sexuality Zines handout (PDF) by Emily Bee that was prepared for the 2015 Milwaukee Zine Fest.

The Zines

It’s on Liebigstraße 34

liebig34 berlinWow! It's been almost a year since we've posted anything to the blog. And what a fucking year. As we're still in the midst of a global pandemic, we're not doing a whole lot these days. At least, not in person. Luckily, online events are a thing right now, and we're super happy to participate in them.

Coming up next week, we're co-sponsoring a film screening at the Northwest Film Forum of It’s on Liebigstraße 34.  The screening will include 3 films about the (in)famous feminist-queer squat Liebigstraße 34 in Berlin, Germany and how it was forcibly closed last autumn.

The screening is sliding scale from $0–$25 and will include a Q/A with the film-makers. The links above and below have info on how to get tickets.

It’s on Liebigstraße 34
Feb. 13 at 10am PST / 7pm CET
Northwest Film Forum (online)

Incidentially, we were asked to co-sponsor this by our long-time friend Elliat, who made the amazing doc Travel Queeries, which you can see here.

Queer Love Stories

QLS GRN blgIt seems like a lifetime ago, but it has really only been about two months since we partnered with our friends at the Milwaukee Zine Fest and The Milwaukee Rep to produce a zine from their Queer Love Stories event.  Just as things were ramping up here with the COVID-19 preperations and prior to the Safer At Home orders, we got copies of the community made QLS zine from our local.  That was three weeks ago (it's 13 April, 2020, a Monday, as we post this.) Since the production of this was funded through the partnership and our initial intent was to make them available during the Milwaukee Zine Fest, we thought we'd do that minus the fest. 

If you would like a copy, all you have to do is send us 3 First Class U.S. stamps.

Queer Love Stories c/o QZAP
2935 N. Fratney Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Please be sure to include your name and address.

If you are not in the U.S. and would like a copy, please contact us.

Please take care of each other.

Love,

QZAP