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Race Revolt, the zine edited by fem-queer DIY stalwart, gold star lesbian & ‘queen of the workshop’, Humaira Saeed, has probably been the most influential publication within the feminist, queer, DIY community since it began in 2007. She will undoubtedly blush at that sentence, but all of it is true.

People just weren’t talking about issues relating to race, privilege & identity to any real degree, and were, for the most part, walking around in a white washed daze failing to notice any of the exclusionary tendencies endemic in ‘our’ communities.

Having a platform to discuss & share ideas is so important, and this zine has been crucial to developing consciousness & raising awareness about these issues – but it should never be the only outlet, we need to create many more.

In order to spread the inspiration further, we asked Humaira a few questions about the zine & what inspires her to keep fighting……

why did you start race revolt, is it a labour of love or fury?

i think for me, it’s always both. i can’t love the labour if it’s not fuelled by some kind of fury, and i wouldn’t have fury if i didn’t love, if i didn’t care about things. and so race revolt came from both of these places, from feeling frustrated and despondent and angry about the silences around race in the communities i inhabited, but caring too much about them to ever to just give up on it. and i really believe that this zine is part of something important.

what is your favourite issue and why?
probably issue 3, contributions from people of colour only, both because it’s the most recent ‘achievement’ but also because there’s something about it that feels urgent. i find so much unapologetic
bravery in all the articles which is inspiring to me and speaks to me very directly and personally. but of course i think all the issues are great!

tell us about the upcoming issue….

it’s themed whiteness and it should be ready for the race gathering. it’s shaping up well! i think this issue has had the most amount of interest so far in terms of contributions. it’s really amazing how all the articles complicate notions of whiteness and critique privilege in lots of different ways. it’s the second special issue, which seem to be good ways of focusing ideas – the issue after this will be a general one (late autumn 2009), then there’ll be two more special issues on intersections, one on class and race (spring 2010) and one on dis/ability and race (late autumn 2010).

what are your recommendations for films/ books/ websites/ art etc that you can recommend for people interested in exploring issues relating to race, privilege & identity?

oh audre lorde! i think the largest source of inspiration and strength for me since starting RR. her poetry i think gets overlooked a bit, she was such an amazing woman.

mimi nguyen’s website http://www.worsethanqueer.com

a book called ‘A Promise and a Way of Life’ which I hope to review for RR, it’s by Becky Thompson and about white anti-racist activism.

Ismat Chughtai’s 1944 short story ‘The Quilt’. It’s so beautifully written, south asian, and queer. so many more, but i’ll stop there.
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To contribute to Race Revolt, or to find out how to get hold of a copy, please email: racerevolt@riseup.net

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