Patricia Silva submitted her zine, Larker, into this years Art Exchange Program. The larker Anthology focuses on increasing the visibility of bisexual culture through the artists and activists that make up their community. She included such a detailed letter of explaination I asked her if I could post it here.
To learn more about the Larker Anthology:
Letter of Explanation BY Patricia Silva
Larker Anthology is an independent large format art zine celebrating the visual and cultural heritage of the resilient communities under the bisexual umbrella. Published annually in New York City since 2013, each issue of Larker features artists, writers, activists, and educators who are out as bisexual. As with most, if not all, bisexual organizations and groups the term bisexual will be used as an inclusive community term to mean romantic and/or sexual attraction to more than one gender (including pansexual, fluid, omnisexual, and queer self-identifications).
Larker utilizes photography to showcase bi affirmative visibility and to communicate visual and cultural markers of bi consciousness and achievement on a global level. Historically, bisexual people are erased through omission or by being categorized as gay/lesbian/straight. We are constantly writing ourselves into narratives that erase our contributions, marginalize our experiences and identities, but most importantly: use harmful definitions of our orientation that don’t come from within our communities. There is one (volunteer-run) national organization (BiNet USA) and several online magazines and newsletters dedicated to bisexual socio-political issues, but there hasn’t been a centralized form collecting how we define our visual culture.
For a group that is constantly told we don’t exist, or that we need to pick sides for everyone else’s political convenience, I found it imperative to have not just a record of bisexual culture, but also an ongoing, broad, living visibility project around how we define ourselves, internally and externally. Larker Anthology was created to give space and shape to bisexual visual language, and culture.
Why is visibility important?
Because the ongoing discrimination that bisexual people face in our everyday lives has negative consequences. Studies show that bisexual people are vulnerable to poverty, discrimination, poor physical and mental health—at rates higher than our lesbian and gay siblings. Currently in the U.S., there are no providers offering support specifically for the bisexual population.
According to a 2014 study by BiNetUsa:
This is why I make Larker Anthology: to give shape and space to an affirmative and inclusive bisexual consciousness. Ending stigma and promoting inclusivity and clarity among individuals who have a negative understanding of bisexuality regardless of orientation is critical to Larker Anthology. Printed copies means visibility. Printed copies would mean inclusion in spaces that typically can’t afford (or don’t consider/don’t know how) to include the B in LGBT. Placing these issues in academic archives makes this content available to researchers/scholars/academics, but more importantly: available to younger generations who grow up hearing only stigmas around bisexuality, and sexual minorities in general.
All content (unless otherwise noted * ) or any likeness thereof is ™ and © 1991-2017 + ∞ marc calvary. / "the carbon based mistake" (U.S. Reg. No. 4,213,952)