Harmer/Harmed: an interactive zine

One part personal essay, one part journal, and one part mirror, "harmer/harmed" is an interactive zine that looks back, in, and at the space that exists between apologies.

Designed by our 2020-2021 Artist in Residence, BIANCA NG, this interactive zine is the featured artwork for Issue 12: Before After. Entitled "harmer/harmed," this zine asks the gentle but difficult questions of the pasts we do and don't remember. It is a visual negotiation about the boundaries of self, interrogating the behaviors, habits, and harm we inherit, as well as pass along. At times, we watch as Bianca picks apart the fragile outer-layer of apologies. At times, we see her picking up the broken pieces of a narrative she once held onto. And at times, we notice that she is looking right at us: Is there a wound you're too afraid to touch? This zine welcomes you into a space of us, and together, we look at the language of apologies, the way we present (and absent) ourselves to each other, and the words we use to hide from — or parts of — ourselves. It is as visual as it is visceral, walking along the fine line of blame, dragging old memories into the open to look for evidence of fault and forgiveness. In true Bianca fashion, this zine is a work of art on the act of words, showcasing her ability to dig up deep truths, untangle the past from the present, and imagine new ways of being with others. Because if there is one thing harmer/harmed wants you to remember, it's: do not forget yourself.

This is a one-time, limited edition print run of 100 copies.


"A few months into the pandemic, I decided to go through my box of archives since I was back at my parents' house. I flipped through old letters, photos, and journals. Over the years, I've developed this irrational fear of misremembering. Like I need physical proof that something happened, good or bad — especially bad. Sometimes I feel like I can't trust my memories. I need an objective narrator to tell me what happened. Our memories are just stories we tell ourselves."

"What if the story we've been telling ourselves is wrong? What if there was a third, fourth, or fifth perspective we didn't see? What if we saw ourselves only as a victim, unable to see the harm we were simultaneously causing?"

"Who was that apology you wrote really for? Are apologies ever completely selfless?"


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