Sexual Assault Support Zines as a Pedagogy of Hope: An exploration of zines as a method of integrating community voices into the research process
This essay explores how sexual assault zines (self-published magazines) reflect a pedagogy of hope as they integrate community efforts of working collectively to generate positive social change and challenge dominant discourses and responses to sexual violence in our communities. Through critical discourse analysis of a multiplicity of sexual assault zines, such as Learning Good Consent, Support Zine, and Ask First, my research reveals that these zines challenge the unquestioned assumption that the criminal legal system is a friend of the anti-violence movement. Instead, these artifacts seek to mobilize communities around radical alternatives to hegemonic structures of oppression and violence. I argue that these works operate in a feminist framework that produces counter-hegemonic sites that seek to connect and communicate. Additionally, these zines offer radical and practical alternatives and approaches to ending structures of violence, with the aim of moving toward creating communities of accountability. This research explores the use of zines as a method of challenging prevalent discourses around sexual violence, by providing cultural and political interventions through resisting the culture of domination. Most importantly, this essay demonstrates how the use of zines is a viable and underutilized research method that can act as a creative and alternative avenue to integrating community voices into the research process.