SOUTHERN EXPOSURE is an ongoing quarterly zine series exploring race, sexuality, history, and visual culture through images and writing. Each issue utilizes the figure to explore a visual concept, investigating a nuance of these themes.
The concept of Southern Exposure started with a simple idea, reflect the aesthetics of power upon itself to critique these systems from the perspective of a queer, southern person of color. From the glossy editorials in fashion magazines, to heroic representations of a constructed history, Southern Exposure aims to use the visual language of western society to critique the very system it supports.
Confederati explores of the Confederate battle flag and the revisionist history that keeps the symbol in active use. The issue also reckons with the experience of living with an image that represents a willful desire to subjugate a race of people. The zine also considers the flag as a visual design, one created intentionally to be attractive, and how symbols are tied and untied to their reason for creation. White K/Night takes the idea further and scrutinizes whiteness itself. By using personal stories, White K/Night focuses on the small ways society reinforces white supremacy, and how those outside of its boundaries find modes of resistance, all while using whiteness as a literal visual queue throughout the zine.
Wanderlust moves into the often fraught experience of traveling while Black. More specifically, Wanderlust speaks to the history behind the preservation of wild spaces in the US, and how that history generated lasting effects in how African Americans experience the natural word. Fatherland uses the visual language of propaganda to speaks more broadly to the nature of history itself, and how the past is manipulated to better support those who already hold power.
Other issues focus more on the visual and physical experience of the zine format itself. Red Light, both a reference to the literal use of red light in the photography and the red light districts once common in many cities, isdevoid of text apart from the letters “R E D”. Red light is an exploration of the zine as an intimate experience where desire and shame is all focused internally as if walking through a red light district in book form. Vir Heroicus Sublimis and Chroma are about light and color respectively as phenomena, and how we ascribe meaning and substance to their ephemeral qualities. Other zines in the collection explore different formats while keeping within the general orbit of the numbered issues of the Southern Exposure project.