From March 2014 to October 2014 we collaborated with “3I: Influence, Initiate, Impact” a youth project of Breast Cancer Action of Quebec (BCAQ). This project aimed at helping young women from immigrant families to depict their personal stories and celebrate relationships, awareness, diversity, understanding, and self-love, through the art of zine making.
The initial stage of the project was guided by two CEGEP students who uncovered creative ways the group could collaborate and reach a broad audience. We discussed the purpose of the zine and developed a plan.The girls consciously looked for imagery that represented what they look like and identify with. Relentless internet searches proved this to be a difficult task. Instead they used their imaginations and developed digital skills to create their own media and take back their representation.
As we progressed, the workshop series continued to support and encourage each young woman to experiment with a variety of programs and techniques. We created a space to address the needs of individual and collective objectives.
The open collaboration and flexible model of exchange encouraged a forum for expression and action. The workshop series provided training and support for hands-on experience to design and create media that reflects identities and issues that matter to young women.
The final zine is a unique collection of art and creative writing that encourages young women to become positive agents of social change. The participants then used their zine as an educational tool, working with younger children to discuss barriers they’ve encountered and overcome.
At a more grassroots level, the zine encourages stakeholders to constantly question what we see, what we are being told, and to actively resist the idea of being complacent (however we are socialized to be).
These young women were able to use their creativity and digital media skills to spread awareness about issues that matter most to them, empowering them to choose issues they care about as they become the next generation of employable, engaged, skilled civic participants.