Neta Bomani Answers...
What's your favorite riso color or color combo?
Really into brown plus another vibrant color. Looking forward to experimenting with brown and hot pink.
Share 1-3 things about your creative/conceptualizing process.
I use a research based practice to help me through any creative project. It’s important for me to contextualize the artifacts I could potentially make within a continuum of histories—present, past and future. For example, when I choose to make a zine, I very deliberately consider the ephemerality of zines because they reveal the nature of ideas too, which is to say, zines are not property, we can’t hold onto or posses them, they are meant to be shared just as there are no ideas that belong to us. They too are a part of a wellspring of historical and ancestral knowledge which we can simply tap into, channel and translate through our limited perspectives and understandings. For me, the zine making process is a highly spiritual and social process about meditating, studying and honoring history so I can ultimately exercise the practice of letting go, rather than perpetuate a sort of giving into the exclusionary citational and knowledge hoarding practices of academia and colonialism writ large. When I’m engaging in this kind of work, it looks like going through an archival process (either by way of conducting oral history and/or digitizing physical archival documents) then collaging the archive in zine format. There is much more to it, especially depending on who I’m collaborating with and how our individual practices coalesce, but that is the essence.
What did you have on your mind when you were working on this project/piece (or in general)? (ie. Does your work (this or other) relate to a particular current movement or concept?)
I drew a lot of inspiration and guidance from my friend and collaborator Mariame Kaba on the Bonita Carter project. She trusted me with a physical archive of images and news clippings relating to Bonita Carter’s death in addition to a sharp piece of writing by her which informed the aesthetic of the project and are all in the zine. We had a zine release event at Blue Stockings bookstore in New York City titled “Documenting Black People’s Stories Through Zine Making” where we talked about the struggle for Black liberation and how queer Black people, especially gender nonconforming people and women have been making zines throughout history to put our struggles into the historical record to combat institutional violence and the erasure that often follows. Here, I’m thinking of Ida B. Wells and the pamphlets she made for an anti-lynching campaign in the south; Fire!! a quarterly zine made collaboratively in the 1920s by young, radical Black artists like Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Gwendolyn Bennet and Zora Neal Hurston; and GUNK, a riot grrrl zine started by a 15 year old Black girl named Ramdasha Bikceem in the 90s. This work is very much so entangled in the movement for Black lives, more specifically the parts of the movement which work to highlight the essential role that Black people of oppressed gender experience play.