Blog Series

Ten Years of Talking Back: Sheila Sampath

November 13th, 2014     by Sheila Sampath     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

In honour of our ten-year anniversary, we spoke with ten different people in the Shameless community, past and present. This is the final video!

Today, editorial and art director Sheila Sampath talks about Shameless and why it’s important.

Want to take part in our community and support our work? Check out our list of ten ways to support Shameless:

Don’t forget: buy your ticket to our birthday party and inaugural Shamie Awards, happening tomorrow, November 14, in Toronto! Buy by the end of the day TODAY to be eligible to win a Kobo Touch eReader. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Hi, my name is Sheila Sampath and I am the Editorial and Art Director of Shameless magazine. I first joined team Shameless as Art Director in 2006. At that time I was looking for a way to expand my feminist politics and practice art direction and design. I never thought that eight years later Shameless would continue to be a source of constant learning and unlearning, community building, friend making, support and love.

I’ve been a part of Shameless for a long time and I’ve seen the magazine go through many changes. From an alternative magazine for girls who get it to an intersectional, anti-oppressive feminist activist magazine for teen girls and trans youth, Shameless has grown with the community of people who’ve been a part of it, and responded to the needs of marginalized youth across Canada and internationally. I get feedback from teens often telling me that the same sense of community and solidarity that the magazine’s given me in the process of making, it has given them in the process of reading and in the process of contributing.

That kind of feedback makes this work more than worthwhile. We are now in our tenth year of talking back. A moment of pause, reflection and celebration. Ten years of grassroots, independent feminist publishing is a radical thing. After ten years, it still excites me to see our little publication take up space on the stands and to be able to use that space to amplify the voices of marginalized peoples who are so underrepresented in mainstream media.

What many people don’t know about Shameless is that we are entirely volunteer-run. Our magazine, website, popular education programs and community events are put together by a team of dedicated and tireless volunteers. We receive no grant funding for our work and rely entirely on subscribers and sustainers to keep us going. This is where you come in. Shameless has always been a community project, and we are looking for community support as we enter this next phase of our work. We have big plans to pay contributors, develop lesson plans to bring issues into the classroom, and to provide more free and accessible popular education opportunities to marginalized youth.

Please consider joining the hall of Shameless, our monthly sustainer program. For as little as $5 a month, and for more if you can afford it, you can feel really good about being a part of a publication and a community organization that means so much to so many people, that provides a meaningful alternative to an often bleak media landscape, and does it with style and sass, if I do say so myself. Thank you.

  • Transcribed by Acacia Christensen

Tags: #shameless10, all about shameless

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