by Tori Bouldin
Our SOTD kicking it off for our spring issue is a badass Vietnamese-American artist and 1/3 of the three-chick zine collective, Nasty Press.
Zoey Duong is a MICA grad advocating human rights and environmental protection through her art and Nasty Press's open platform to people of all backgrounds to voice themselves in response to political unrest.
In January, Zoey joined over 500,000 people at the Women's March in Washington D.C. to send a bold message to Trump's administration on their first day in office---and to the world--- that women's rights are human rights.
We caught up with Zoey to talk to her about her experience and her Baltimore-based zine.
TS: So Zoey, we heard you attended the Women's March this past January in Washington D.C. What made you want to take the trip?
Z: I wanted to take the trip as soon as I heard about it, which I believe was right after the election. In the weeks leading up to the Women's March, I was reading the news everyday and was becoming more and more infuriated. Trump wasn't even in office, yet somehow it seemed he already had control over the United States. He was influencing the DAPL, he was choosing controversial, and often, extremely rich and otherwise powerful, people to work alongside him, he was talking about making Mexico pay for a wall, he was talking about banning refugees and immigrants; everyday it was something new. The weeks leading up to Trump's inauguration and the Women's March culminated in a need to reach out, express, fight back, protest and the Women's March is where that happened, for so many of us.
TS: Tell us about your experience.
Z: The Women's March was an experience in a category of it's own. I've been in large crowds before, but nothing compares to the amount of people in Washington D.C. that day. At first it was a bit confusing, because no one had cell service and so we didn't know where we should be marching nor at what time, but soon enough, we got it together. It was amazing to be with so many others, and with such diversity, who were demanding peace, unity, and respect from America's new administration. The chanting was endless, a popular one was "Her body, her choice. My body, my choice!". We marched from the Mall to the lawn in front of the White House. We protested in front of the White House for a while and as people began leaving, they also left behind their signs. All together, we made walls of signs along the fences that blocked us from getting any closer to the White House and on other fences in the area. The sign that I left behind read "KEEP YOUR POLITICS OUT OF MY VAGINA".
I kept being told that one big protest isn't going to solve anything, but rather, it's sustained action that really creates change. And that makes sense. So I decided I needed to do something in response to Trump. My first idea was to create a call for art about feelings towards Trump, and to create a gallery show for it, but that idea quickly turned into making a zine. I've always loved zines and making them, but I had really always wanted to work with a team to make something bigger than myself. So I reached out to Em Jones, who I met at MICA, and I also reached out to Alysha Davila, who I met because she had recently bought a print that I was selling in order to support the fight against the DAPL at Standing Rock. So, within a pretty short time frame, we came together and created Nasty Press.
TS: What's your definition of a feminist?
I have this pretty cool patch on the back of my jean jacket and it says "Feminism means equality. Thats it!" (@cat_coven). And I think that that is pretty much all I am looking for in the word "feminist"; empathy towards the issues that are faced by a population and/or a combination of populations (gender and racial minorities) and a belief that they deserve equal treatment. To me, feminism doesn't mean that men are inherently bad, or any lesser than women, but that all should be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect.
TS: How does your own personal style reflect in Nasty Press and your graphic design work?
Within Nasty Press, we definitely work as a team, but I think that my style comes out most in bold and simple graphics that we sometimes use for events, and in patterns and handwritten text that I use on our mugs that we sell. In my graphic design work in general, I tend to aim for a limited color palette, mixed with a fun pattern or texture, and a good, legible and unique font. And I think that reflects my style because I've come to enjoy wearing only one or two colors, always including one texture or pattern (sometimes its a cheetah print belt, sometimes a fuzzy sweater) and always a practical shoe.