It can’t be denied, self-publishing has become unstoppable. Fuelled by the internet and the power of social media, perspectives and subcultures that are often ignored in mainstream media have come out in full force, and are owning it. Empowered young women are making their voices heard, and opening the flood gates for diversity within the media with a huge range of topics, from fashion to history, and religion to the creative revival of Boston – 2015 was the year for the zine scene. With a constant flow of zine fairs, panel talks, exciting releases and an ever-growing and inclusive community that’s jumped from online to IRL in the most inspiring of ways, we wouldn’t be surprised if you missed a beat somewhere along the way. In case you did, below we’ve compiled a list of some of the best zines you should have been reading this year.
A newcomer on the zine scene Sister supports female talent all the way. A zine for girls that focuses on female talent and changing the world, it gives a voice to the frustrated generation. The rad girls at Sister want feminism to belong to anyone and everyone. With their third issue already sold out, it seems female empowerment is unstoppable. If you’re in London this Saturday Sister are hosting their first zine fair ‘Zinemas’ – complete with talks from the women behind fellow zine faves Polyester and Bloody Hell – to celebrate a year of kick ass girl power.
Looks can be deceiving. Girly on the outside but true riot grrrls on the inside, Polyester is a London-based zine whose sparkle and rainbow imagery precursors its great content. Digifeminism at its most inspiring and a show of real girl-power, their third issue is now sold out, but we’re told the fourth is definitely on its way.
Covering topics ranging from faith, activism and identity One of My Kind (OOMK) publishes contributions from women of diverse ethnic and spiritual backgrounds, with their main focus on the often under-represented Muslim women. The zine is published biannually so make sure to check out their website in the meantime and attend their zine event on 19 December, featuring over 40 publishers and zine stalls. Christmas shopping anyone?
Closer to a book than a magazine, Typical Girls collects the stories of women from all around the world. Born out of the frustration of the lack of diversity in the mainstream media when it comes to representing female creatives, these University of Sussex students have only just published the first issue, but are already geared up for greatness!
Ever heard of a periodzine? Well Bloody Hell is a non-profit that publishes people’s experiences with menstruation. A feminist ethos paired with artwork submissions, written pieces and more from people who bleed monthly, they are fast kicking the taboo of menstruation to the curb. The zine launched last month at The Feminist Library, with a fitting ‘Period Party’.
Combining everyone’s two favourite things – food and fashion – FFF’s (Food For Fashion) first issue featured Dazed cover star Maisie Williams. Created in response to “the picture perfect world of Instagram food photography”, it is mega-colourful and hilarious. Check out their Instagram if you’re looking to fall into a food coma.
BORN N BREAD
Born N Bread is all about food, fandom and Black British identity. The south London collective’s first issue Black focused on up-and-coming black artists, while their now sold-out second issue NYC Diaries was the result of a group trip to the Big Apple. A distinctive hip-hop vibe, super-coolness and jokes is what you’ll find here.
An ode to the people who inspire her, founder and creative director Verity Pemberton gives the reader an insight into the world of models, artists and other creative minds who are collected on Moon’s sophisticated pages. All from a stylist’s perspective, the world of fashion, art and photography collide in this globally stocked zine, now in its third issue.
This “for teens, by teens” zine covers the rocky road of growing up. A collective voice of teens from the US, they cover issues like selfies and feature interviews. Crybaby’s last issue sold out in no time, but they already have a new one on the way. In the meantime, the zine’s founder and editor-in-chief, Remi Riordan, gave us her choice of the teen photographers taking over Instagram.
Boston’s self-proclaimed indie mag features style, art and culture. A guide to Boston from a unique perspective for the restless youths who can’t wait to get away to bigger creative hubs, Things wants to encourage them to explore the city’s growing creative scene.
Orlando was inspired by gender fluidity and the idea that the creative mind can be androgynous. Mingling art, design, film, literature, politics and social history, Orlando’s Issue 0 was launched recently, with the theme ‘proto’, featuring fresh ideas and current inspirations. They are already working on the next issue with history and memory as the theme, and creating narrative to imagine the future as the goal.
Follow Amy Newson on Twitter here @amy_newson8