Pandora

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Pandora published for nine years between 1985 and 1994 as an alternative to the mainstream media in Nova Scotia. We focussed on the lives of everyday women, encouraging and supporting women to tell their first-person stories. Our collective was a volunteer-run non-profit that included up to 35 women in any single issue. We taught each other how to work together in meetings, how to reach out into community, and how to recognize and apologize for our mistakes. We also learned collectively to write; to edit the writing of others; to take photographs, develop and crop them; and to materially produce the paper first on waxed strips and then on Pagemaker. (Pandora was the first to use Pagemaker and many other feminist publications followed this initiative.) We drove the pages to the printer, picked them up, distributed them on foot, in cars, and by mail. We qualified for second class postage – no small feat. We fundraised with dances and concerts. We sold advertising. But money was never the issue.

Our eagerness and energy allowed us to begin with four issues each year but, over the years, slowly, and then more quickly, as the ten-year mark appeared on the horizon, it was not possible for those who were left to share the time, skills and energies necessary. A man whose writing was not accepted because of the paper’s policies filed a Human Rights Complaint. Pandora and all her supporters “won” the right to publish “a newspaper produced by, for and about women”. But the process sapped women’s energy.

For the nine years that it was freely distributed throughout the province and mailed throughout the world, Pandora women faced the challenge of having “no collective opinion, no editorial position,” although there was agreement that “we cannot accept material that is oppressive or intolerant.” We did our best to meet that challenge and we provided nourishment for ourselves and each other. Then, we went on to live our lives, together and separately.

Written by Bethan Lloyd (Coordinating Editor for the first 18 months and later a production assistant)

Title Date
Pandora – Vol. 1, Issue 1 – September 1985 September 1985
Pandora – Vol. 1, Issue 2 – December 1985 December 1985
Pandora – Vol. 1, Issue 3 – Spring 1986 Spring 1986
Pandora – Vol. 1, Issue 4 – Summer 1986 Summer 1986
Pandora – Vol. 2, Issue 1 – September 1986 September 1986
Pandora – Vol. 2, Issue 2 – December 1986 December 1986
Pandora – Vol. 2, Issue 3 – March 1987 March 1987
Pandora – Vol. 2, Issue 4 – June 1987 June 1987
Pandora – Vol. 3, Issue 1 – September/December 1987 Autumn 1987
Pandora – Vol. 3, Issue 2 – December 1987 December 1987
Pandora – Vol. 3, Issue 3 – March 1988 March 1988
Pandora – Vol. 3, Issue 4 – June 1988 June 1988
Pandora – Vol. 4, Issue 1 – September 1988 September 1988
Pandora – Vol. 4, Issue 2 – December 1988 December 1988
Pandora – Vol. 4, Issue 3 – March 1989 March 1989
Pandora – Vol. 4, Issue 4 – June 1989 June 1989
Pandora – Vol. 5, Issue 1 – October 1989 October 1989
Pandora – Vol. 5, Issue 2 – January 1990 January 1990
Pandora – Vol. 5, Issue 3 – March 1990 March 1990
Pandora – Vol. 5, Issue 4 – June 1990 June 1990
Pandora – Vol. 6, Issue 1 – October 1990 October 1990
Pandora – Vol. 6, Issue 2 – January 1991 January 1991
Pandora – Vol. 6, Issue 3 – June 1991 June 1991
Pandora – Vol. 6, Issue 4 – November 1991 November 1991
Pandora – Vol. 7, Issue 1 – March 1992 March 1992
Pandora – Vol. 7, Issue 2 – September 1992 September 1992
Pandora – Vol. 7, Issue 3 – March 1993 March 1993
Pandora – Vol. 7, Issue 4 – July 1993 July 1993
Pandora – Vol. 8, Issue 1 – March 1994 March 1994

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