This is a weekly series where we feature our incredibly talented Adolescent members and their work! Sign up here to join the Adolescent Membership and be part of the @ family!
Adolescent, meet our newest Member Crush: Erin Davis. We’re obsessed with her, in part due to the sheer diversity of her work—she’s a writer, photographer, and multimedia journalist whose work spans different mediums and formats with ease. Erin’s work has been published in six zines, and she’s worked with NPR, CNN, and Afropunk. Keep reading to learn more about the creative scene in Atlanta, why Erin thinks zine culture is important, and what it’s like to attend press screenings.
Adolescent Content: You call yourself a multimedia journalist—what does that entail?
Erin Davis: Basically, my approach to content creation is very much visually driven, but also has lots of pockets and nuance. I like to create packages of text and video, audio and text, photo and audio, and combinations of the three.
Adolescent: What did your work with VOX ATL consist of?
Erin: I was with VOX through my junior and senior years of high school. It was honestly an anchor for me—not only in my work, but in my personal life. It’s this amazing, expressive platform that gave me a lot of power and a lot of confidence.
I worked in the nonprofit side of the organization as a community workshop coordinator, facilitator, and fundraising ambassador. But I also was involved in the publishing side too as a photographer, journalist, summer intern, and an editor for our investigative issue.
Adolescent: You’re super involved in modern zine culture, having contributed to Lithium Magazine, Pink Things Magazine, Dissolving Film Magazine, and more. What drew you to that subculture? Why do you think it’s important?
Erin: I think zine culture has something for everybody. It’s so diverse, content and audience wise—you can find whatever you’re looking for. I discovered digital zines [later on in] middle school. I was just looking for things that resonated with me in a deeper, more visceral way.
I’ve always been attracted to visual dynamics that are distinctly shaped by the female gaze, because they’re just so refreshing and intimate. It also opens up the idea that the male gaze intrudes into spheres outside media like photography and film. The male gaze pollutes not only our imagery, but also the way we internalize our perceptions of our own image and existence. As a young woman, you’re distinctly aware of that omnipresent gaze. And it’s smothering. But the female creatives I found through digital zine culture directly confront that.
Within zine culture, there’s a large safe space that exists for female creatives to make art. And I think young female photographers are excellent at capturing intimate images of that dynamic and subverting it.
Adolescent: Tell me about the creative scene in Atlanta.
Erin: You can describe it as alternative or unconventional, but what I really like about the creative community here is that there's a lot of emerging talent and ideas constantly in flux, and everything has an edge or a fresh take.
Queer art, black art, radical art—they all shine here. Atlanta is at the intersection of everything, and so the art this community cultivates is like a tapestry that pulls each thread from that. It can be an acquired taste, though, because while there are parts that harmonize, there’s also a lot of clashing and dissonance. But even if that doesn’t make it pretty, it makes it interesting.
Adolescent: I saw that you got exclusive red carpet access at a press screening of The Hate U Give, which is insane. What was that like?
Erin: Well, it was definitely nerve-racking—but also incredibly thrilling. It was the first carpet I ever worked and the biggest thing I’ve ever done.
I remember that the carpet was jam-packed with journalists crushed together behind [a rope] that separated us from the talent. It was super intense—you had to fight for your spot. But that was a thrilling edge to the challenge.
We actually almost didn’t get to talk to Amandla, because people kept going over time and so by the time the talent was making it to the end of the carpet, it was nearing premiere time. So I was one of the last people to ask her questions, and my voice shook a little. It was actually kind of horrifying because it’s documented on video forever. But whatever, because it was an amazing moment, and it was so humbling to be able to speak with all of the creators on board.