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4thWave, a new feminist publication that hopes to center the voices of women, transgender, and non-binary people of color at Penn, launched this fall. Now, the publication is working to publish its first zine, which is a self-published unique work.

The first zine will include written work, such as poetry or prose, and visual art related to healing from racial injustice. In addition to publishing a zine each semester, 4thWave aims to host local artists and writers for events, launch a podcast, and collaborate with organizations such as Q-INE and Penn Monologues to elevate the creative voices of underrepresented voices in feminism.

4thWave will begin collecting submissions for its first zine by Monday and the zine will be released by mid-April, College junior and 4thWave Co-President Irene Yee said.

The prompt for this semester's zine focuses on healing and reconnection in the context of long histories of racial injustice, exploitation of the human body, and colonization.  

"When loving ourselves and loving our communities has become a radical act of defiance, how can we find space for intimacy and the strength to reconnect with ourselves, with each other, and with the land?" the prompt reads.

4thWave may publish submissions that fall outside the scope of the prompt on its website, even if those submissions do not make it into the semester’s zine, Yee said.

Savanna Grinspun serves as the current 4thWave Poetry Editor. (Photo from Savanna Grinspun)

The group is also going to publish a featured artist spotlight of College junior Myahn Walker, a Design major and graphic design intern at Design Museum Everywhere, on 4thWave's website. The feature will include Walker's artist bio and pieces of her work, which focus on portraying Blackness in different ways, College junior and 4thWave Poetry Editor Sav Grinspun said.

College junior and 4thWave Prose Editor Nisha Krishnan said 4thWave hopes to continue finding artists who explore their identities through their work.

Through their zine and website, the 4thWave co-presidents want to amplify voices that feminist movements have not always included or fully represented, Yee said.

“While there are really, really awesome feminist spaces on campus that are doing really important work, we also felt like it could be important — and it could be really valuable — to have a space that’s dedicated to holding a space for feminist perspectives that aren’t necessarily dominated by a white, cis, [heterosexual] voice,” Yee said.

Krishnan said that such a space is especially important in a college environment, where students are finding themselves and seeking out spaces to express themselves creatively.

"It's really important to us to focus on that intersectionality and let people show their identity and who they are, and make people feel safe and be like 'I'm accepted here in this community'" Krishnan said.

She added that the publication chose its name in reference to the history of feminist movements, which is often discussed in terms of three or four sociopolitical "waves." In calling itself 4thWave, Krishnan said, the publication aims to "push society into the next wave of feminism." 

Yee said 4thWave is in the process of reaching out to Q-INE, a magazine centering the voices of LGBTQ+ members of the Penn community, to explore possibilities for future collaboration between the two publications. This summer, 4thWave connected with Q-INE organizers for advice and guidance ahead of their fall launch, College senior and Q-INE Co-founding Editor Ana Acevedo said.

Acevedo said the collaboration would be the first time Q-INE collaborates with another group on campus, attributing the lack of past collaboration to the logistical difficulties of COVID-19. Acevedo said she welcomes the possibility of future collaborations between Q-INE and organizations like 4thWave.

“It’s definitely something that I think would be a good route to take in the future, and I’m interested to see what 4thWave collaboration they have in mind,” Acevedo said. 

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt student life, 4thWave hopes the publication offers a unique space for community.

“We don’t want to exclude any particular voice," Yee said. "We just want to center the ones that have been traditionally marginalized within feminist movements.”