Barrett Smith: Morning After Zine

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WHO ARE YOU? Tell us about yourself, hey, even brag a little.

My name is Barrett Smith and I’m a lesbian girl faery. I love girls, flowers, and strength. I first started making zines in high school. I was in a creative writing program at the Duke Ellington School of Arts in Washington DC. Even though I’m studying french and education inequality now, I never lost my passion for writing and publishing, which is one reason I’m really excited to be starting the Morning After Zine.

TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOU ARE DOING AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.

I started the Morning After Zine to empower and create community for survivors of sexual violence. I want to create a publication that combines self-care tips with creative writing and visual art. My hope is that this combination of mediums will provide the emotional connection of a creative zine with the information and healing of a DIY self-care zine. Morning After Zine is also putting on a series of self-care workshops. I want the zine to not only be a publication, but a community. My hope is that these workshops will take the idea
of radical inclusivity that inspired the zine movement and extend it to self-care and mental health by creating a space for everyone to heal together.

 Art by Primary Hughes

Art by Primary Hughes

I came up with this idea because I noticed a real lack of useful resources available. They all seem to focus on legal, medical, and clinical action. Though these are valid and necessary steps for some people, many others can’t access them or don’t want to use them. They also don’t represent a complete picture of what we need. The self-care workshops and pieces published in our zine hope to fill that gap.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN PURSUING THIS WORK?

I’m just getting started so it’s really hard to get the word out. I’ve never been very good at reaching a wide audience (usually only like 10 people show up to my parties). But that makes it very hard to start building a team and getting help to do all of the things that need to be done. It’s also very important to me that our events and publication are not limited to the UT community. But it’s been very hard trying to get people and organizations outside of UT involved and expand our reach beyond students and into the larger Austin community.

WHERE AND HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR QUEST?

Join our team! We need writers, visual artists, event planners, outreach, survivors and allies to help us make this thing happen. You can like us on the Morning After Zine Facebook. We’ll post there about upcoming meetings and events. Look out for our first self-care workshop! We will be hosting a Collage and Comedy event in late October.

What is your favorite quote?

“The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only
when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never
get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy
in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or
complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and
understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
- Arundhati Roy

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