Guts x Fight Back!

Roisin Agnew | Editor's Foreword

What could’ve been an intellectual understanding of what it is to be a second class citizen, has become an experienced and highly visible reality for the women of Ireland.

Since 1983 160,000 Irish women have had to travel to England to have an abortion. Ten women travel everyday because of an amendment written into the Irish constitution that makes it illegal to have an abortion in Ireland. Some of our readers outside Ireland may not even be aware of this.

With every attempt to crush women, equate their lives to those of the “unborn”, Irish women have adapted, resisted, and persisted. We’ve learnt to fight back.

Here at Guts we wanted to come back from our sabbatical to dedicate an entire issue to the bravery and fierceness of the Irish women who are fighting back on all issues that affect women’s lives – abortion rights, poverty, racism, gender pay gap, homophobia, social conservatism, and lack of visibility. We wanted to show solidarity with the strike action taking place across Ireland on March 8th 2016 that calls for a referendum on the 8th amendment.

This issue hopes to be a beautiful visual and written print tribute to the awe-inspiring resistance made by Irish women through their protest, their writing, their organising, their art, their testimonies. We thank you. R

The Illustrators

Fight Back has been a delicious departure from our usual format of dedicating an entire issue to one artist’s work. It has allowed us to acknowledge the sheer no-flies-on-me skill and imagination of Irish female illustrators. Utterly different stylistically from each other, each illustrator interpreted our theme and stories uniquely whilst somehow managing to create a cohesive and powerful ensemble piece. In all we had six illustrators work on this issue - some were not new to Guts, some were friends, some we admired from afar, and some found us through a cold call and an illustration submission. Our thanks to Laura Callaghan, Aoife Dooley, Fuchsia Macaree, Jayde Perkin, Paula McGloin, and Cesca Saunders. And slow lick of the upper lip to Lauren Kavanagh’s design chops that pulled this all together.