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Jessica Gysel, Girls Like Us
At work with

Jessica Gysel, Girls Like Us

As her magazine Girls Like Us appears back on shelves, we catch up with editor Jessica Gysel to hear about her week, the issue, and it’s theme, ‘Disappointment’.

Jessica is interested in all things feminist and queer, and continues to contribute to multiple publications and zines alongside her role at Brussels performing art theatre Kaaitheater. This 14th issue of Girls Like Us comes in the form of a series of 33 letters from different writers expressing disappointment.


Jessica falshes V signs

What are you up to this Monday morning?
As usual, in a bit of a rush! I get up early, try to enjoy a tea on my terrace before heading the the office. I go by bike, and take our dog Betty with me. On the way, I stop at the beautiful wild garden of Weils contemporary art center, to walk Betty and enjoy a minute of silence before the real week starts and I dive full on into rush hour. At this time of the year, there are a lot of frogs in the little pond at the garden, so I get a full on morning concert preceding the traffic noise. I love it!

Where are you?
I’m at home in Brussels, leaving soon for the office, also in Brussels.


What can you see from your desk/ through the window?
I look onto big, old trees of Avenue van Volxem in Forest, Brussels. They are around forever, and used to be in the middle of a big walking path, which now became a tramway, flanked by two roads. I’m high enough to enjoy the top of the trees, which have just started to show their leaves.


Cover of Donald Duck comic, 1988

Which magazine do you first remember?
Donald Duck, the children’s comic that was published in The Netherlands throughout my childhood. My parents had a subscription (I’m not sure this was for me or for them, ahah!).


Front cover of Real Review issue 13

Which magazine matters most to you this morning?  

Difficult question… I really like Real Review and the tons of new queer zines that seem to be around everywhere… riot grrrrr millennial revival ;) 


Front cover of Girls Like Us issue 14

Describe Girls Like Us in three words.
Feminist / Queer / Community.

The magazine has developed a unique editorial voice that plays with expectations. How do you describe this voice? (do you worry that the editorial playfulness distracts from the core queer voice?)
I think both of these things can go together very well… I’m not even sure it’s editorial playfulness. It’s maybe trying to make the current situation we live in as positive and adaptable as possible, showing options and showing there’s room for playfulness. 

What does the (near) future hold for Girls Like Us?
We just released our new issue, #14 themed ‘Disappointment’, together with the artist Dora García. We’re organizing a series of release parties where we read some of the letters of the issues out loud. It’s been a really special experience. We are slowly starting to work on a new issue, on the legacy of Brussels-born filmmaker Chantal Ackerman.


What’s the queer scene in Brussels feeling like at the moment/this summer?
Lots of things happening! I’m also part of, that collects all Brussels based queer collectives. We have a weekly IG agenda where you can see so much queer stuff happening. Have a look!


What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
The online launch of our new T-shirt, on theme with the issue featuring the printed sentence, ‘Yours in Disappointment’.

Founder & editor
Jessica Gysel
Editorial team Katja Mater, Sara Kaaman,
Design Sara Kaaman and Stina Löfgren


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