Bianca Martin awarded Inaugural SLQ Rainbow Fellowship


rainbow research fellowship slq bianca martin zines
Image: Joe Ruckli for SLQ

The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) recently awarded Toowoomba author Bianca Martin the inaugural SLQ Rainbow Research Fellowship for her project, LGBTQIA+ Zines in Contemporary Queensland.

Bianca Martin told QNews she plans to dive deep into the archives, bypassing officially curated histories, and searching out authentic queer voices.

“I’m very much looking forward to spending 2023 looking into a rich part of Queensland’s history and finding innovative ways of sharing those stories. I feel some pressure to set the standard very high. But I also take great comfort in knowing there’s a knowledgeable team there ready to support me through this project.

“I’m a sort of ‘lifelong’ student. I’m invigorated by researching and collating information to better understand the world we live in. I completed a research project as part of my Master of Arts in 2019. Since then, I continued to independently research, write, and publish. I enjoy the ‘deep-diving’ on a topic, synthesising that information and making it accessible to the wider community.”

No Silencing

Bianca Martin describes zines as not quite magazines and not quite art books.

She self-publishes the weekly Rut Zine with 280 issues to her credit. Bianca also runs the Toowoomba Zine Library where she promotes creativity, independent storytelling, and community zinemaking.

“I first started making zines in 2011 after feeling frustrated by the challenges of breaking into the literary scene: stifled by rigid editorial standards and shut out from inner-circle cliques. With no outlet for telling my own stories, I started my own small journal and invited anyone who wanted to write or share artwork to be part of it.

“I promised no editing, no publishing standards, and no silencing.

“Over the years, my zine-making style evolved but I remain extremely passionate about the power of zines to tell your story.”

Bianca is equally passionate about history.

“I value looking to the future, but I also think it’s so important to acknowledge our history.”

Unfiltered, unedited first-person accounts

“For Queensland in particular, I think it’s important to retrieve and reclaim that history. It’s such a recent history and, in many parts of our state, an undocumented presence. I’m particularly interested in using zines and other self-published materials to uncover queer histories. These are generally unfiltered, unedited first-person accounts.

“Zines also hold additional storytelling power. The medium isn’t tied down to writing, art, or photos. Zines can incorporate a variety of writing and artistic styles, working together to tell a story with added depth.

“As historical documents, zines offer unique insight plus unfiltered, unedited, and raw first-person perspectives.”

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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