Bigmouth is a blog and distro project uplifting the work of women and gender nonconforming illustrators and comic creators from AMEMSA (African, Middle East, Muslim, South Asian) countries and their diasporas.
Though the artists featured on Bigmouth come from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious backgrounds, their work is connected by common thematic threads addressing issues and intersections of topics such as Orientalism, imperialism, race/ethnicity, spirituality, war, gender, sexuality, and diaspora.
When we tell our own stories, we write our own histories, analyze our present realities, and imagine our collective futures. And, we do so independent of outside "experts" who seek to frame the narrative around our lives and experiences. This is particularly important for AMEMSA women and queer people, who are often either fetishized, erased, or painted as victims in need of saving by "The West."
By positioning the work of diaspora artists alongside the work of artists living in our home countries, Bigmouth seeks to break down barriers that prevent diaspora artists from connecting with creative communities in the motherland and vice versa. This allows us, as a global creative community, to explore a myriad of experiences and subjects without constantly having to define or explain ourselves as an "other." And by lifting up multiple voices, we also resist the idea that we and our people are a monolith.
Bigmouth is run by artists, for artists. As artists from marginalized communities, we understand the challenges we face, and what our needs are. We create opportunities for our work and the work of others like us to enter spaces that we are often (both implicitly and explicitly) barred from. And all proceeds from zine sales that don't go directly to the artist go back into the distro, so that we can keep printing and distroing work from around the world!
Website | email@example.com
Leila is a Detroit-based Palestinian artist. Her debut graphic novel, Baddawi, (Just World Books 2015) was shortlisted for the 2015 Palestine Book Awards and has been translated into three languages. She is also the author and Illustrator of The Opening (Tosh Fesh, 2017) as well as a number of zines and short comics. Her creative work primarily explores issues related to diaspora, refugees, history, memory, and borders.
Website | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kawtar Azzouzi is first generation Moroccan artist living in Chicago. She graduated in 2015 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA, and was awarded the Goldman Sachs scholarship for an experimental film about a murder in her hometown. Her illustrations involve themes of death, lust, murder, human taboos, and heartbreak. She is the author of Spiritual Teens.