Finding Gloria: Nos/otras
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, and feminist. 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 on 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, is nos (Spanish for we) and otras (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 in their clothing and 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, and other creative works. It has been a few years since I got my hands on a homemade zine, and this style lends itself well to the content within its pages. Sometimes the page numbers or other text were cut off, and some of the images were hard to make out because of the resolution of the print, but I think the energy and emotion is still captured.