This incredibly personal zine chronicles the author’s experience as a sexually liberated, counter-culture “genderqueer femme” including an abusive relationship that she kicks like a bad habit. What’s interesting and un-put-downable about this zine is the prose. Clementine Cannibal writes in the unassuming, lowercase that was the favoured mode of bell hooks (the feminist author’s nom de plume as she intended it to be written) who states “Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.” Cannibal’s painfully intimate zine could be seen as an homage to that sentiment, and at the same time it’s her life on these photocopied pages. She is living through these moments of physical and emotional abuse, of men telling her how she is seen and how she should be seen instead of actually seeing her.
These 40 black and white pages filled with text and collage don’t seem to be nearly enough to hold it all in, but it does, reading like an entire novel that has been distilled down to its most essential and unavoidable elements. In the introduction, Cannibal states that this was the “hardest (issue) to write, and also the best, the easiest. this is the truth.” But the journal-like intimacy of her words almost guarantees that whatever came before issue 20 is definitely worth reading. (Carrie Q. Contrary)
Zine, issue 20, Clementine Cannibal, clementinecannibal.com, $2 (Canada), $3 (international)