The raised fist is an iconographic and prominent feminist symbol; a powerful sign of resistance in the face of discrimination, violence, and silencing practices. I wanted to create an image reminiscent of the raised-fist salute given by feminist demonstrators at a rally. My artwork had to also convey the DIY ethos, intrinsic to feminist and queer efforts, and its countercultural aesthetics, which informs my own style. The design had to be bold and in your face: An image that would stand in stark contrast to and even subvert the high-gloss culture of today.
I decided to use the manual alphabet to spell out oppression in defiant visualization and in line with the tradition of reappropriation: Reclaiming the word ‘cunt’ individual letter by individual letter; eliminating the pejorative connotations in the word; making use of the word to empower rather than insult women. Allegedly the worst word in the English language, used as a slur against women, I (like numerous other proponents before me) see ‘cunt’ as not only acceptable but as a noun to be worn as a badge of honor. Feminism 101: Forget ‘the c-word’, embrace ‘cunt’!
We fell in love with t's design immediately it landed in our submissions inbox, and are so thrilled we had the privilege of using it for issue 3! We loved how it harkened back to the riot grrl aesthetic of the 80s and 90s, with its clear, sharp lines and simple black-and-white palette. The fact that it was representative both of a word tied to our magazine's name (and a word we love, mind you), and of the Deaf community made it that much more awesome. Personally, I like to think there's a little bit of subtext going on there, too: fuck the noise, and get visual. Words have power.
As part of our Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds for our FIRST PRINT ISSUE (can you tell we're excited?), t has generously agreed to let us make limited edition prints of her design as one of the tiered rewards! For $33 you could get a signed print of "Fingerspelling Lesson", as well as the print issue of Quaint #4, and pdfs of all the issues to date. And a sticker. That's a hella lot of swag!
So if you can, get on it! Support under-represented writers, enjoy amazing, challenging, subversive work, and crush the patriarchy!
<3 <3 <3
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