"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