AMPLIFY(HER) Zine Empowers Undocumented Asian Women
With an election year strongly underway, ugly conversations and debates concerning the rightfulness of immigrants living in America have been unfolding (ahem). At the moment, 37 percent of American adults believe that immigrants pose a great threat to the viability of the nation. Terms like “aliens” and “illegals” continue to dangerously shape the conversation surrounding the over 10 million undocumented individuals from around the world who have come to America in pursuit of their own safety and a prosperous future.
Luckily, dialogues on undocumented immigrants are increasing in mainstream media, affording more of these individuals the opportunity to enhance their visibility and voice their concerns. And, as self-described “artists and organizers within the migrant rights movement,” Jenny Lee, Angel Sutjipto, Israt Audry, Sulgi Cho, and Manny Yusuf believe there is no better way to go about spreading honest dialogues on marginalized experiences than through the creation of politicized literary and art zines.
As a collaborative project between Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast (RAISE) and Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), this group of woman have launched AMPLIFY(HER), the first ever zine by and for undocumented women of Asian descent, including transgender women and gender non-conforming folks.
The zine, which is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, aims to provide a platform for undocumented voices to be heard, and subsequently shared through a bound DIY anthology stuffed with testaments of endurance during their journey towards equality. The group seeks to tackle many of the stereotypes that plague Asian American women, including the “model minority myth” (much like the Sad Asian Girls Club).
“I think two of the biggest misperceptions of undocumented women in the Asian diaspora is that we don’t exist and that we don’t organize,” Sutjipto told NBC News in an interview. “These misperceptions stem from the stereotype of the ‘quiet, docile, submissive Asian women.’ Which, of course, is untrue.”
AMPLIFY(HER) plans to put the pen in the hands of women who are oftentimes silenced and subordinated, dispelling microaggressions in mainstream dialogues that harm global opinions of themselves. Being that most undocumented immigrants won’t attest to their experiences publicly because of the reality of deportation, having a safe haven, like the zine, to radically organize a community is of extreme importance.
Once the team of editors meets their funding requirements, they will be selling a limited number of the AMPLIFYHER zines, and the rest will be distributed (scot-free) to various immigrants’ rights organizations, high schools, and undocumented folks residing in the United States.
Stay tuned to Milk for more on migrant activism.
Images via Indiegogo