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👀 Zine Bright Like A Diamond
#240 | Make a zine, make a splash
This morning, my grandmother reported that my eight-year-old cousin, her youngest grandson, is having a great time at the British Council workshop I recommended for him. Pleased with myself, I told my mother that it was a zine-making workshop.
"What's a zine?" she asked.
"Umm.. a magazine, but shorter". Such an inadequate answer that was!
And so, I turned to good ol' Wikipedia.
"A zine ( / ziːn / ZEEN; short for magazine or fanzine) is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via a copy machine. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation."
I also learnt that the term originated in a science fiction fanzine published in October 1940 by Russ Chauvenet and gained widespread recognition among science fiction enthusiasts. It was officially included in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1949.
Zines have played a big role in diverse subcultures, bringing people with common interests together outside mainstream norms. Rooted in D-I-Y philosophy, zines subvert established design principles and publishing practices and make space for authentic expression and messaging. Zines are typically handmade or carbon copied for distribution.
Want to read a zine?
Ask your artist/activist friends to share their latest zine with you.
Don't have any artist/activist friends? (That's a bit sus though)
Look here, a virtual zine library that gives you free access to a wide range of zines on themes like composting, neo-liberalization of higher education, screen-printing, witchcraft, theatre and direct action. Go find what gets you going.
I, for one, want to make my own zine. It's either going to be a super serious thing like the intersection of mental illness and capitalism or something even more serious - like how Bengal produces the best mangoes in the world.