In Their Own Words
Posting on social media platforms may be the most common means of self-expression and information sharing today, but zines predate and now coexist with that medium. Before social media gave users the freedom to share their lives and perspectives, zines radically challenged the publishing industry’s standards, providing a way to spark dialogues about unaddressed subjects and share works by largely underrepresented authors. Typically produced in small batches and offered at a low price or for free, zines allow for an interactive, liberated exchange of knowledge and experience. Anyone can create a zine, and the possibilities for zines’ contents are endless!
Often self-published, non-commercial works, zines can amplify silenced voices. Through the art of zine making, creators that are Black, Indigenous, POC, disabled, LGBTQIA+, religiously persecuted, young, and/or of a low socioeconomic status have found an accessible platform to share ideas and experiences. Zine creation and dissemination is inherently subversive. Collected and stored with the same care as our historically rare books and artifacts, zines share histories and perspectives that are still underrepresented in archival and academic spaces. A small sampling of the zines in our archive, these works show the important and varying perspectives this genre elevates. We hope you will be inspired to reflect on your positionality, take action, subvert expectations, and maybe even create a zine of your own!
Zine Collection Building: Shayna Gutcho, 2019-2020 Mosaic Fellow; Jacob Hopkins, former Collections Specialist