Arts & Culture, Boston Hassle Flea, Interview, Zine

A quick chat w/ Snake Hair Press before the Boston Hassle Flea

Catch Snake For Press tabling @ the Boston Hassle Flea on 2/22 @ the Cambridge Elks Lodge!

by

Dan Shea:
So what is Snake Hair Press all about?

Snake Hair Press:
Snake Hair Press is an independent publisher of zines and multiples, based in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts / occupied Massachusett and Wampanoag land. We’re invested in dismantling the white supremacist cis het patriarchy, and doing our best under the constraints of neoliberalism and capitalism. As two white settlers with a lot of privileges who are committed to the inherent egalitarian nature of printmaking, we donate a portion of all our proceeds to social justice organizations that work to create a more equitable society, like Black Lives Matter, the Trevor Project, Black & Pink, Rosie’s Place, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and others.

DS:
Can you tell me about Magical Risography?

SHP:
Intro to Magical Risography is the very first workshop we’re offering with our Riso EZ591 on Friday, March 13th from 7 to 9:30pm. I’ve been facilitating participatory performances and teaching at universities and community print shops for more than a decade, and I’m excited to bring two of my loves – witchcraft + printmaking – together for the workshop. The workshop will go over the basics of risography and the magic of making multiples, and each participant will leave with an edition of their own plus a copy of everyone else’s print. Risographs are super accessible and fun machines, but there are very few of them in the area and we feel lucky to be able to share our love with our community. We set aside a workshop spot for one BIPOC to attend completely free of charge, and if that describes you, please email us to reserve it.

DS:
What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on or created?

SHP:
I’m really proud of the research-based zines we’ve created, but my favorite projects are always the ones that have a collaborative aspect. I loved working with Amaranta Isyemille Lara Ramos to produce a book worthy of her beautiful and heartbreaking poetry. To coincide with our very first zine White Men are the Worst, we asked people to write about their personal experiences with white men, then documented and ritually burned the responses. We also helped organize a participatory public performance with Emma Baker, Michelle Samuels, and Steven Ambrose at Boston Common on June 30, 2018 to coincide with the Together & Free: Rally Against Family Separation. In addition to the performance, we gave away over 100 copies of a specially created zine, A Brief History of Immigration in the United States of America, which also has a fold-out poster inside. You can still download the zine for free on our website.

DS:
How do we get far more progressive, far more diverse elected officials in this town, starting with the position of mayor (on down)?

SHP:
There are very few politicians who share my leftist ideologies, so I often find myself voting for the person who is likely to cause the least amount of harm. I do think it’s important to not become complacent with our elected officials just because they’re not horrible. We have to hold politicians accountable when they prioritize themselves or people with money over everyone else. Call and write them. Show up at the State House. Support people running on progressive platforms. We have to pay attention to the City Council. Frank Baker is the city council official for our district, which covers most of Dorchester and a portion of South Boston and the South End. He’s a democrat who votes against every progressive item he can, from rent control to regulating short term rentals to tax increases for high end real estate. He’s also run unopposed three times since he was elected in 2011. Is he the worst? No. Would I absolutely vote for anyone who is even a sliver more left than him? Absolutely. I have zero interest in running for office myself, but do believe in supporting communities and groups like City Life / Vida Urbana and the Boston Ujima Project that are actually addressing challenges in Boston, from gentrification, to the astronomical cost of rent, to lack of food access to unemployment.

DS:
What does 2020 hold for Snake Hair Press?

SHP:
Hopefully new workshops and collaborative projects and traveling to new cities for zine fairs. We held our first open call in January and we’re looking forward to publishing Occult Studies Volume 1: Apocalypse in the next few months, followed by another open call in the fall.

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