HFZF Zinester Interview – Inasmuch House

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At Inasmuch House – a shelter for women and families fleeing abuse and experiencing homelessness – we talk a lot about housing.

The gentrification of Hamilton, increasing rental prices and disappearing rental spaces, and the too-long waiting list for subsidized housing. The strain that this lack of housing puts on women and families fleeing violence often isn’t recognized outside the shelter walls – that women and families are forced to stay in, or return to, unsafe situations; that folks spend months (sometimes a year) in emergency spaces, raising children in one-room dorms. We wanted the stories, voices, ideas of the residents here at Inasmuch to be heard – and so we started collecting them together into a zine. After lots of discussion, art-based workshops, and brainstorming ideas, we created Let’s Talk About Housing: Stories, Strategies, and Solutions from Shelter Residents.

We’re really excited to be debuting this zine at the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair – come pick up a free copy from us, and hear the stories of the women staying at Inasmuch House. Continue reading

Anti-Trump Protest in Toronto

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by Rhythms of Resistance – Toronto

On Monday, October 24th, all us “nasty women” (including those who identify as women always, sometimes, and sort-of) are going to snatch the tower with pussy power!!

The Trump Tower in Toronto represents, in one ugly edifice and everything that is disturbing about Trump’s campaign: it is built by the poor for the rich, and it is a glorification of greed and exploitation. This big, stone erection is just another reminder to women in Toronto that while Trump himself might be all the way across the border, his influence and his validation of rape culture penetrates all the way into Canada as well.

ror-toronto-2 Continue reading

#WritingWhileBlack Workshop at HFZF

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We are so excited to have Whitney French facilitating her workshop Writing While Black at the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair!

***Writing While Black – 1pm at the Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair. This workshop is drop in and open to all, but BIPOC are prioritized***

black_brown_fierce_wwb_edmontonPart group discussion, part reading salon, part creation lab, #WritingWhileBlack engages participants in a discussion on zines by people of colour and specifically the means in which indie print-culture can galvanize movements for racialized people. Anchored by two game-changing zines – FIRE!! Devoted to Younger Negro Artists (Langston Hughes & Zora Neale Hurston, 1926) and Evolution of a Race Riot (Mimi Nguyen, 1997) – this workshop seeks to: analyze zines culture from the lens of a zinester of colour (Whitney French founder of From the Root zine), to offer space for people to read political zines written by zinesters of colour from Canada and around the world, and to participate in the creation of their own zine if they so desire. Continue reading

HFZF Interview: Fake Geek Girls Like Us

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The Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair,  organized by SACHA, celebrates and creates spaces for marginalized groups to have discussions about feminism through do-it-yourself publishing.

When: Saturday, November 5th from 11am to 5pm
Where: Hamilton Public Library – Central Library: 55 York Road, Hamilton ON
Accessibility: The space is accessible, including washrooms. Here’s some more information about safe(r) spaces at HFZF.

Fake Geek Girls Like Us is a art group that explores and criticizes fan culture through a queer feminist perspective. Their aim is to facilitate, encourage, and discuss geekdom and pop culture.

We interviewed Caitlynn from Fake Geek Girlsmaytheforce.

What led you to zine making?

I started to make zines with other people to share ideas about gender representation in geek culture. I moved to making my own zines to share some of the stories and interviews that I have done with women who work within geek culture.

Who inspires you in the feminist zine world?

My girl gang/art collective Kitten Caboodle inspires me. My friends are all talented artists who share the ideas so freely. They continue to inspire me to create more art and push boundaries.

Why is feminist zine making important to you? What does it mean to be a feminist zine maker?

Feminist zines are important to me because I believe it is an accessible way to access different forms of art and education. The feminist zine community shares ideas, critiques and thoughts with many different people and I think that is really important. For me, being a feminist zine maker is about creating dialogue, sharing ideas and expressing yourself freely.

warriorgfWhat will your next zine be about?

My next zine that I am working on is about how different characters in television/film have helped me learn more about myself. I want to have different sections for different parts of my life.

What would your dream feminist zine community look like?

A whole bunch of rad people sharing their stuff, having awesome conversations and being supportive of one another.

What Has Been Helpful In Your Healing?

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Healing is hard work. The effects of sexual and emotional harm are complicated and make the path of a survivor unclear, nuanced, and volatile. What works for one person might not for another, and even what works for one person at one time, might not work at another. It can be draining to be constantly on the alert for what kind of care you need at each given moment, but with patience and support it does get easier.

Here are a few thoughts passers-through in the SACHA office have about what’s helping them heal right now:

Continue reading

TBTN Thank Yous!

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We couldn’t make Take Back the Night happen in Hamilton without all these amazing people, organizations, and businesses!

Next time you see someone from these businesses and unions, please thank them for their amazing SACHA support.

The Take Back the Night committee is an AMAZING group of women that start planning the event in April. They do everything from finding donations, booking performers, making big decisions about the event, and helping folks to make signs. We appreciate their awesomeness, their energy, and their dedication to a world without sexual violence. Thank you TBTN committee members!

It takes over 30 volunteers to make the event run smoothly. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped create safety at the march by marshalling, who carried puppets, who served food, and who helped with clean up late into the night. We appreciate you.

Why Are Police At Take Back the Night?

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Every year SACHA gets asked questions about why police are at Take Back the Night (TBTN).  We wanted to answer this important question and share more information about the role of police at TBTN.

We understand and acknowledge that police at Take Back the Night means that some folks will be uncomfortable and some folks will choose not to come to the event.

Why?

If we did not have police at TBTN we would either not be able to march at all or would have to march on the sidewalk.

The event is considered a parade by the City of Hamilton. We have to fill out a parade permit to use the City Hall building, the forecourt, and to march in one lane of traffic –  months and months ahead of time. We have to pay the city for one lane of traffic to be closed while we’re marching. Continue reading

All the Take Back the Night Info You Ever Wanted!

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Here’s all the info you could ever want about this powerful event.

When: Thursday, October 13th

6pm – We Gather
7pm – We Rally
7:30pm – We March

Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON

Who: TBTN centers the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer the march on from Gore Park.

Some quick links about:

Continue reading

TBTN Awards

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This year we’re doing awards differently at Take Back the Night.

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In the past we’ve highlighted Best Sign, Most Spirit, and Most Inclusive display and had honorable mentions. This year we’re awarding three awards in each category. Not 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Just three equal awards.

There is so much awesomeness at the event and we wanted to recognize the creativity and energy that folks in Hamilton are putting towards a world without sexual violence.

Big thank yous to United Trophy for donating nine trophies this year! We appreciate it.



Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for survivors and their supporters to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against violence.

TBTN centres the experiences of women and gender non-conforming folks. We invite men to cheer on the march from Gore Park.

When: Thursday, October 13th

6:00pm – We Gather
7:00pm – We Rally
7:30pm – We March

Where: Hamilton City Hall – 71 Main Street, Hamilton ON
Who: Women, gender non-conforming folks, and their children are welcome!

Read about why we organize Take Back the Night as a space for women and gender non-conforming folks to speak out against violence here.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TBTN2016!

More Information:

You Can March With Us

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TBTN Poster English 2016Thinking about coming to Take Back the Night next Thursday but feeling uncertain or anxious?

Not sure what it will feel like to be at the event? Don’t have an available friend to come with you? You are a kind person who wants to offer a friendly welcome to someone more nervous coming to TBTN?

This year we are going to have a “You Can March With Us” table.

We have people whose specific task it is to make everyone feel welcome and more comfortable in attending the event.

Everyone at some point in their life has felt uneasy in a crowd.  Everyone at some point has felt awkward. That’s normal. But this discomfort can stop people from participating in something awesome such as TBTN.  We don’t want this to be a barrier to anyone.  We love extroverts and gregarious people who shine at group events and we love introverts and shy folk. (We love you too ambiverts – don’t want you to feel left out either.)

Here’s why you may want to visit us at our You Can March With Us table…

  1. You will see someone who is happy you are at TBTN
  2. You can ask questions about event
  3. You will find someone you can march with
  4. Use us as a meet up location with friends who are joining you at TBTN
  5. You are welcome to come to our table if you would like to offer yourself and your friends as buddies to someone looking for a TBTN friend
  6. You want to write a note for our table welcoming people to TBTN

Where can you find the You Can March With Us table?

We’ll be set up beside the SACHA info table very close to Main Street in the City Hall forecourt.

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We want everyone who comes to TBTN to have an amazing time. We know different people need different things to make this happen.

Supportive Listening

Take Back the Night can bring up many emotions – joy, sadness, excitement, fear, love. If you need to talk with someone please visit the SACHA table where there are folks ready to listen or call SACHA’s 24 Hour Support Line – 905.525.4162. Continue reading