Monday, May 28, 2012
Zine Review: Digging Up a Tennessee Anarchist
Ross Winn - Digging Up a
Let’s face it: Ross Winn was not a saint. When Emma Goldman raised $60 in funds to help his impoverished, struggling family, Winn quickly used the money to buy a new printing press rather than to feed and clothe his wife and son. Yet this act epitomizes the passion Ross Winn embodied for his anarchist philosophies. He was on fire for social change & printed words were his tools. Over several decades, Winn published numerous journals including Winn’s Firebrand and The Advance. He understood that a free press is the key to discourse, that ideals and ideas need to flow between people in order to manifest in the realm of action.
With Digging Up a Tennessee Anarchist, Shaun & Ally are the curators of a perfectly choreographed zine. Robert Helms writes the introduction about the significance of documenting anarchist history so that we have role models and references to help frame our own philosophies. His meeting Shaun & Ally sent them down the path of uncovering and documenting Ross Winn’s life. This zine includes a biography of Winn, an essay about the process of discovering his history, letters written by his son to Emma Goldman, and excerpts from Winn’s journals. Digging Up a Tennessee Anarchist is a substantial, cohesive, highly readable body of work. Paper journals and zines are more relevant than ever as we struggle to communicate in the age of communication and create dialogue above the din & roar of technology. Through his dedication to social change and the craft of journalism, Ross Winn heralded inspiration that will now, thankfully, not languish in obscurity.