The “Protests in Print” exhibit at the New York Public Library displayed several works from the Alternative Press. Each were forms of print that deviated from traditional methods of publishing and distributing, as they are platforms for both personal expression and social justice activism. Most of the content in these works is concerned with issues of marginalization, social and political equality, and representation; their goal being to represent the experiences of individuals, and convey information, that is typically excluded in mainstream publications. In this way, the Alternative Press is beginning to create a balance between conventionally and alternatively published media.
A publication that seemed especially significant to me was Shotgun Seamstress. Authored by Osa Ateo, Shotgun Seamstress is a magazine dedicated to black queers, feminists, outsider artists, and musicians. The intent of the publication is to challenge mainstream narratives that exclude the stories and voices of people of color. I think that publications such as Shotgun Seamstress are becoming increasingly important in America’s current political climate– specifically given the exclusive rhetoric of the President-Elect. Publications representing narratives that diverge from those depicted in mainstream media are crucial, as they encapsulate the full diversity of American culture and give a voice to those who might instead remain voiceless.