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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Anarcha-feminist Renaissance Underway (2005)

Shakti is the new zine of the Anarcha-
Feminist Federation of Aotearoa, a
network of active NZ A-Fems. It is
the fruit of ideas that sprouted during the
2004 Anarchist Conference in Christchurch.
Anarcha-Fems felt there was a lack
of NZ A-Fem info in circulation, as it was
7 years since the last issue of Sehkmet (the
AFFA zine from 1991-97). They also felt
there was a need to build solidarity and get
communication happening between radical
women around the cuntry.
Th e fi rst issue was put together by
the Dunedin Anarcha-Feminist group
(sistahood@nihil.net.nz) utilising submissions
from around Aotearoa. Th e next will
be made by the Wellington Anarcha-Fem
Posse (contact anarchazine@gmail.com
– PO Box 9263, deadline 23 March, distributed
in April). Later issues will be collated
by various A-Fem groups around the
cuntry. It will be published bi-monthly, alternating
with Dissident Voice.
Th e zine features a hand-screenprinted
patch, and contents include the Dunedin AFem
group, contacts for groups around the
cuntry, definitions of anarchism, feminism
and anarcha-feminism, abortion, A-Fem
art and performance, Anarcha-Herstory,
rape and sexual abuse including what has
been happening in the Anarchist/Activist
community, the feminine force of Shakti,
awesome photos from Camp Crusty, recommended
websites, books, recipes, cool
comics and illustrations.
We think Shakti could be a swift kick
in the nuts of Patriarchal Capitalist society
but at the moment it is more a gentle reminder
of women’s continuing struggles in
said society, and within the radical left. Its
emphasis is not on confronting men, but
rather on supporting womyn. Th e tone is
friendly without being patronising, it’s creatively
laid out, and the content and style
are impressive. Th e rape article is especially
clear and empowering. The herstory of
Aotearoa’s Random Trollops theatre troupe,
once quite a force to be reckoned with,
made for an inspiring read. It’s great to see
information on the revolutionary Lucy Parsons,
but unfortunately this and an article
about abortion are missing text, which is
confusing. These two articles will be reprinted
in full in future issues of the zine.
Th ere is an intriguing looking “Guide to
Self-Love Stroke Signs” on the back that is
too pixellated to read, this will be reprinted
as well. It would be good to see more analysis
of class and race issues in future, as it
feels a bit too white and middle class. Some
of the many other things we’d like to see
are: coverage of recent ratbag activities, info
on upcoming actions and events, A-Feminism
as more than just a lifestyle choice,
imaginings and visions of where we want
to go with A-Feminism and how we want
to get there!
Th ere has been some lively debate over
the use of the name Shakti (a Sanskrit term
for “power” with a long evolving history
within Indian religions, Hinduism in particular)
and the place of spirituality in the
anarcha-feminist movement, which will be
reflected on in future issues of the zine. A
new name for the zine is likely, too.
So altough there have been some small
fuckups it’s really exciting to see this zine
out, we look forward to seeing it grow and
evolve into an important resource for all
genders in Aotearoa and beyond.
Please note: Th e authors were not involved in
the production of Shakti but are a part of the
AFFA and will be working on the 2nd issue
of the zine.


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