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The zine format finds new life in the hands of Orlando's writers and artists 

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click to enlarge PHOTO BY LIV JONSE
  • Photo by Liv Jonse

Agencies

Agencies is both a themed biannual art exhibition and a zine-style catalog of the art featured. Jointly curated by Moriah Russo and Samantha Stribling, Agencies has featured work from an international cast of contributors.

How does an issue of Agencies come together?

For every issue of the Agencies zine (each corresponding with a biannual exhibit) an open call for submissions is distributed to as much of the internet as we can reach. At first, contributors were almost entirely Orlando-based, but as the project expanded, friends of friends and friends of those friends began to submit work. Included in the most recent issue is work by artists and writers based in not only Orlando but also Chicago, Brooklyn and L.A., as well as London and Hong Kong. Though our base has grown, a few artists (namely Anna Cruz) have contributed to every issue. Contributions to the zine and the show are welcome from trans and cis women as well as non-binary folk, as we understand that women/female-identifying persons are not the only people under-represented and -supported in the art world.

Each exhibit and zine is based around a central theme?

Each call for submissions is focused around a theme established by the co-creators of the project (me and Samantha Stribling) and interpreted by the contributors. The themes come from questions, problems and interests in our everyday and interior lives that we feel are common and in need of collective processing. We encourage contributors to process the prompt in relation to their identities of sex/gender and also of race, age and ability. Main themes so far specifically explored are physical and emotional agency, race and (Southern) regional identity and, most recently, bodies/embodiment. Agencies is a feminist organization and aims to compile and distribute feminist interpretations of these subject fields.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY LIV JONSE
  • Photo by Liv Jonse

How did Agencies begin?

Concurrent with community-wide conversations about gender/sex-based violence and physical/sexual/psychological abuse of women in Orlando following a local assault incident, Sam and I started the Agencies project in February of 2015. Around the same time, a private social media women's space was taking shape and conceiving of plans for activist response, and much of our momentum is owed to that movement. We've since published three zines and hung three exhibits of the visual artwork alongside printed excerpts of written contributions in alternative gallery spaces throughout Orlando.

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