BE­HIND THE ZINES

In Flight Magazine - - BEHIND THE ZINES - { TEXT: VERUSKA DE VITA | IM­AGES © BREN­DAN DYAMOND, SE­BAS­TIAN BORCKENHAGEN, RETHA FURGUSON & LANI SPICE }

ZINES ARE EV­ERY­THING THAT TRA­DI­TION­ALLY PUB­LISHED BOOKS ARE NOT. THEIR ORI­GIN STEMS MAINLY FROM A DE­SIRE TO GIVE VOICE TO TOP­ICS THAT ARE BE­YOND THE MAIN­STREAM, STUFF THAT FOR­MALISED PUB­LISH­ERS WON’T TAKE ON FOR A VA­RI­ETY OF REA­SONS, IN­CLUD­ING BUD­GETARY CON­STRAINTS AND CON­SUMER DE­MAND.

There are zines that have been hand-drawn, hand-writ­ten and pho­to­copied for an au­di­ence that is as small as two hand­fuls. Some are out­pour­ings of con­fes­sional po­etry, printed on textured pa­per and bound by hand. Oth­ers are cre­ated for spe­cific com­mu­ni­ties rang­ing from crafters to lovers of bak­ing, while some are col­lec­tions of pho­to­graphs, sketches, paint­ings and other art forms by a sin­gle artist or a col­lab­o­ra­tive. Zines can be any­thing and ev­ery­thing, and they are.

The zine sub-cul­ture is huge in many parts of the world, and in South Africa the art form is grow­ing and mak­ing its way to that very por­ous of edges: the one be­tween un­der­ground and pop­u­lar cul­ture.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN ZINE CUL­TURE

Zines can be one-offs or part of a larger se­ries, and there are a num­ber pub­lished reg­u­larly to the de­light of a spread­ing fan base, in­clud­ing Alice Toich’s BAEK zine, Boni Mnisi and Han­nah Leal’s in­ter­sec­tional fem­i­nist zine This Is What Makes Us Girls and the phys­i­cal-move­ment-fo­cused Any­bodyzine.

Artists, doo­dlers and il­lus­tra­tors also find ex­pres­sion via this for­mat. Jean de Wet’s an­nual zine and per­sonal an­thol­ogy Lu­nar Fog fea­tures comics and draw­ings pre­vi­ously un­seen, and Se­bas­tian Borckenhagen finds so­lace in solv­ing prob­lems via his pub­li­ca­tions An­ni­hi­la­tion, Prob­lems and A New Kind of Prob­lem. Even the now in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned artist Lady Skol­lie be­gan her ca­reer mak­ing her own zine, Kaap­stad Kin­sey.

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