On a recent Friday a team of women led byBarnard Zine Librarian Jenna Freedman and Barnard Archivist Shannon O’Neill convened the first MTA Zine Residency on the F train. Riding the subway line back and forth from Brooklyn to Queens, the "zine-mob" spent the day writing, illustrating, and creating zines, a term for self-publications motivated by a desire for self-expression rather than profit. This event, along with a similar project on the Staten Island Ferry, was inspired by Amtrak's plan to launch a writer's residency, which sparked controversy over work ownership.
Some of the MTA Zine Residency participants were current Barnard students and members of the Barnard Zine Club, some were recent alumnae, and others were fellow zinesters unaffiliated with Barnard who had heard about the residency and wanted to join in. As they worked on their zines, the group also chatted with inquisitive subway riders about zines. “I feel like it’s a nice women’s college moment,” says Freedman, as the train rattled under midtown. “Even though we’re not all associated with Barnard, there’s this spirit of sharing and support.”