On Responsibility

Type: Content / zine
Category: Creative project

Responsibility, like all empty signifiers, is slippery. It points to no actual object in the world. It absorbs rather than directs meaning. It depends wholly on context: perpetually iterated.

To what and whom, then, are we responsible?  As doers, makers, and beings, why is responsibility not only a helpful concept but a necessary one? 

Despite its anti-specificity, responsibility personally roots me in my agency.  In a world stratified by power, it signifies my being-in-this-world.  It means asking myself: How can I best leverage my skills, privilege, and longings in service to and reverence for others? It looks like reconciling self and other. 

In this project, I ask others to reflect on responsibility as well.  For this zine, I posted the following prompt: In four words or less, what does responsibility look like to you? I received approximately 30 responses to incorporate in the zine. 

Design Inspiration

A zine (pronounced zeen) is a homemade, self-published mini-magazine. Containing both text and image, found or forged, a zine can be anything: a comic, a how-to guide, a rant, a diary entry, a list, a letter, a story, an interview, an article, even a piece of art. It can be personal or political, simple or complicated, silly or serious, private or shared. 

Zines as an art form draw from a rich history of collaboration, independence, and care.  Zines are meant to be easily created and distributed: content, structure, and message at the discretion of the creator. Zines (and their makers) serve to engage ideas on culture, expression, and self-publishing in an accessible, non-commercial way.  Most radically, due to their authentic and inclusive nature, zines make space for underrepresented and underfunded communities and their voices. 

Inherently, zines embody responsibility.  Zines intentionally subvert dominant narratives and allow a beautiful abundance of multilayered experiences to revel in community.  My project will employ this structure and these values.