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COOKIES & PRIVACY POLICY

Queer fanzines: DIY for life

As London gears up for its first queer zine fest, DIVA finds out why fanzines are perfect for those who feel mis-represented in mainstream media

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

Thu, 22 Nov 2012 14:42:35 GMT | Updated 2 years today

"I've ended up making zines because the things I've wanted to see or read haven't always been there," says Melanie Maddison, a Leeds based zinester who'll be commuting to London this December to table a stall at London's first ever queer zine fest. London-based zinester and fat activist Charlotte Cooper, one of the speakers at Queer Zine Fest London (QZFL), echoes this. "I read [zines] because I'm on a life-long search for a kind of cultural validation to exist that I never get in the mainstream".

When queer women feel mis/unrepresented in popular culture, we respond in creative ways. Zines, low-budget small-print publications, are one such solution, offering a cheap, accessible and empowering way to articulate our experiences in all their bold, transgressive glory, unedited. Zines belong to a diy countercultural tradition that has it's roots in censorship-baiting 60s alternative press, punk fanzines of the 70s, dyke commix and queercore zines of the 80s and the zine-centric riot grrrl movement of the 90s; they're a powerful tool for disenfranchised minorities, and can be created by one person or a group of zinesters (in person or long distance).

They can stretch from a humble, folded A4 sheet of photocopier paper filled with cut-and-paste text and hand-scribbled doodles to weighty, collated pamphlets. Their contents can range from intellectual to lo-brow, porn to academia, music to politics, fiction to art, essays to interviews, love letters to rants, or a bright, bold bricolage combination of all the above.

 

See the rest of this feature in our December issue, on sale from November 22 2012.

 

Buy the issue at DIVAdirect.co.uk

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