Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Zines

I recently read this really good article by Jenna Wortham on how the internet hadn't killed Zines, when by rights it probably should had, and I got to thinking about all the incredible women I know who make them. So Today being international women day,  I wanted to share with you some incredible women and their Zines. What is a Zine you might ask me? A Zine is a self published, self made, self put together (I mean you are stapling all those pages till your hand cramps) pamphlet /booklet mini magazine on, well, just about anything you like! I have been involved in making Zines since I was 15 way back when I used to interview boys in super serious bands for local band Zines and ask them stupid questions about soaps and completely ignore anything to do with their guitar pedals or actual music. I guess that is why I never made it as a music journalist.


Bloody Hell


Soofiya describes herself on twitter as a 'Graphic Designer & Illustrator' but also as 'Anarcho-trash. and Hijabi punk scum' which is up there with some of the best twitter bio I have ever seen. In 2015 Soofiya created Bloody Hell, the period Zine. Bloody Hell is collaborative Zine about periods which includes written pieces about experiences , art work, drawings and information about menstruation. 


Soofiya wanted to create Bloody Hell because talking about periods is so often 'dominated by the experiences of cis white women' and also to break the taboo of what is all so often seen as a shameful subject. Soofiya crowdfunded Bloody Hell so that it could be made into something incredibly special printed on high quality paper, that came with little gifts and a launch party(!). Soof also designed this incredible ring that we then laser cut for her. 

This is my favourite Zine I own and as someone who has PCOs and Endometriosis and has been on contraceptives since she was 13, I wish so much this had been around when I was a teenager. 


Bloody Hell Zine is on its second edition and can be bought here.  Soofiya has also created a new Zine called Radical Softness 'a feminist poetry pocketbook. With poems about self-love, PTSD, DV, resistance, swimming and gardens' and can be bought here. Why not check out the rest of Soofiyas etsy shop too?


Dump Him/Don't Dump Him

I have known Kirby on Twitter for a while now, but I feel like our paths should have crossed at Harrow Skate Park or some post hardcore gig somewhere else in North London 15 years ago. She is incredible and has become, hands down, one of my favourite people in the world. 

Last year Kirby posted the iconic Britney Dump Him T-Shirt image and asked if anyone would like to make a Zine with her based around the idea. Kirby says that it was really just a laugh but she had such an overwhelming response of people submitting pieces, telling her 'how cathartic they found the process, getting out words they always wanted to about a situation they're no longer in' that Dump Him Zine was made. After some consideration, Kirby decided to make the Zine an equal Dump Him/Don't Dump him (hey we all need some hope and inspiration).

Kirby also designed not one, but two exclusive pins to accompany the Dump Him Zine and I have had the privilege to see one of them early and it is GOOD. Both myself and our Sister site Bimbo Movie Bash contributed to Dump Him Zine, but I am not revealing which is my submission! You should go buy this Zine right now, and you can do so with or without the pins here.

Portions of the sales of Dump Him Zine will go to Sisters Uncut who are an activist group who use direct action to help stop cuts to domestic violence services across the country, and also Off the Record, a mental health support and information service for young people in Bristol.


Waves

Most of you will know Vanessa by her alias Sarcastathon, a formidable force on the internet. Last night my Mum asked me how I knew her and I had to admit that she was the coolest internet indie it girl of the early 00s, a true Camden hero and that the fact that we whatsapp each other daily now is somewhat amazing to me. 

Vanessa has created Waves as what she calls a Chapbook (which I reckon is a Zine but who am I to tell an artist what their work is!). Waves is about 'love, loss, surgery, and trying to put yourself together in a time of trauma.' I am not here to tell Vanessa's story but I think if you want to know more about a single poor working class woman navigating through what most people would never dream of doing alone then this is the Zine for you. Vanessa's writing is so beautiful and moving, every time she sends me anything to read I am incredibly moved and I am so jealous she articulates how I feel and can never put down in words about things from food to sex. 

Waves also comes with an exclusive pin (these Zine people are REALLY spoiling you!) and can be bought here



Burnt Roti 




OK so this is not a Zine,  however, as I truly believe that making a Zine is all about DIY, hard work and slogging your guts out to produce a beautiful piece of work, often on your own, then Burnt Roti deserves to be in this post. Sharan  wanted to 'give South Asians a platform to talk about and showcase talent' and Burnt Roti is not only in print, but also an online magazine and has its own youtube platform as well. After crowdfunding and lots of self confessed panic and stressing Issue 1 has just been released. You can buy back issues, fridge magnets and badges here! 


Special mentions 

Siobhan: If/When Siobhan releases her swearing Granny Zine I will want to deconstruct it and frame every single page. Creating Zines about her work and Brighton she has so much talent it makes me sick to be honest. Check out her shop here. Kirsty: All her Zines on being poor/fat/queer/working class are sold out but honestly nothing else has ever spoken to me more, keep an eye out on her shop and at fairs. Gross Up Close: Robyn is working on a Hackers Zine currently and needs submissions go and check it out.

There are literally hundreds of women making Zines out there, and workshops on how to do them. If you aren't confident in doing your own then why not contribute to one to get going? 

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