Sonja Ahlers has been described as a pioneer of a new genre of print material fusing collage, found images, original drawings, poetry and prose and her work has been included in university teachings. Ahlers was influenced by the early 90s autobiographical comics and zines, the do-it-yourself movement, music of the Pacific Northwest and fine art.
The Selves (Drawn & Quarterly), her third book, is a 96-page color feminist scrapbook and collective biography, that which Kathleen Hanna said was “seductive, familiar and very funny.” It tells the story of different selves in a lifetime starting from baby to lady. The ‘character’ grows up throughout the pages. The cast includes: Hollie Hobbie, Drew Barrymore, the Olsen twins, Camille Claudel, Alice Munro, Degrassi kids, Angelina Jolie, and Stevie Nicks and Judy Chicago. These selves appear by way of collage, illustration and poetry.
Sonja Ahlers’ very first book was Temper, Temper (Insomniac Press, 1998) which now sells for $200 online and Fatal Distraction (Insomniac Press, 2004). Born and bred in Victoria, BC, she has been making angora bunnies since 1995. This craft item supports her bookmaking and art practice. She has exhibited her installation work internationally and has received numerous awards.
Appropriately, this evening filled with childhood nostalgia, pop culture and feminine power would not be complete without staunch critic of consumerism and media activist Anne Elizabeth Moore. Her Operation: Pocket Full of Wishes project was originally a series of eight cards that mimicked the shopping aides found in American Girl Place. Moore is also the author of Unmarketable: Brandalism, Copyfighting, Mocketing, and the Erosion of Integrity, founding editor of the Best American Comics series, and former editor of now-defunct Punk Planet. Recently, Moore went to Cambodia to teach the first generation of feminists in the country self publishing as a way of combating governmental oppression and self-censorship. She travels throughout the globe to lecture on corporate and governmental oppression and freedom of expression.