Zines are probably one of the funnest groups of books you can grab your hands on. By reading them, I’ve come across lots of useful and uncensored information on feminism, animal rights, people of color identity, environmentalism, leadership, mental health, art, any type of activism and so much more. Believe me, I’ve tried to make a Zine (on veganism). Though it’s difficult when you’re making one alone and have no time on top of that.
But I shouldn’t take the art of making Zines as a complex and burdensome project. In fact, there is an Armenian art show approaching, called, ARTivism – Art for a Cause, in which “All proceeds collected at the door will be donated to ONEArmenia, a non-profit organization with a goal to set a new standard for transparent giving. They are a non-profit platform that connects the global community with organizations and individuals who are committed to making a difference in Armenia. Their current projects include creating access to clean water in rural areas, and building a kindergarten in the Armenian village of Moshatagh. Future projects include collaboration with a domestic violence resource center… Artists will be given the opportunity to display their artwork, as well as sell and keep the sales of their artwork.”
I figure this is the best opportunity to shine some light on the Armenian identity and outreach to the Armenian and non-Armenian community!
So here is some inspiration and help for making Zines.
“Zines are self-published, small-circulation, often nonprofit books, papers, or websites. They usually deal with topics too controversial or niche for mainstream media, presented in an unpolished layout and unusual design. Everyone, from a major NGO to a teenager like you, can be an author (and also an editor, art director, and publisher) of a zine, and that’s part of what makes them so awesome.
There’s a whole wiki devoted to zines here. If you type “zine making” into Amazon, you’ll get 10 pages of results. But to be honest, I’ve never read a book about zine-making, and I don’t think you have to, either. For me, zine-making isn’t about rules or knowledge; it’s about freedom and (guess what?) POWER.
Zines are super powerful! They can communicate rebellious words and strong ideas. People who feel a burning need to share their energy with the world make zines, so it’s no coincidence that zine culture is often associated with some of the most energetic movements: punk, feminist, queer, etc. Some publications that sprang from those subcultures, like the punk fanzine Chainsaw, enjoyed cult status; others, like Bitch, got so popular that they turned into regular magazines that you can find in bookstores.
But zine-making has always been about being a nerd, too. Someone who creates a zine has become obsessed with a subject so small and niche and bizarre that there isn’t even a magazine for people obsessed with it: a celebrity who’s seen better times; pulp science fiction; games; or something so weird you can’t imagine more than one person being into it. Zines are not looking for a broad audience. They’re not supposed to appeal to everyone. That’s the point: they’re exclusive. And “exclusive” can mean anything from “anyone interested in Doctor Who” to “only you and your girl gang” to even “only you.”
Nowadays (boy I sound old all of a sudden) you can make a digital zine/mag and reach people on the other end of the planet in a blink, but what’s nicer than a little handmade book you can hold in your non-virtual hands? Or the unique feeling of being one among a tiny group of special people in possession of a carefully made publication?
There are tons of ways to make a zine, of course. But the one I’m going to show you is one of the cheapest, quickest, and easiest—perfect for spreading your message widely! You will need only three items (that you certainly own) to make it, plus a one-sided printer to make copies.”