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Żurnal is the lo-fi, DIY zine turning trash into treasure

Following the release of its third issue, we catch up with the Polish trio behind Żurnal zine

With the sheer number of upcoming talents coming out of cities like London, New York, and LA, it’s easy to lose sight of names in lesser-known creative cities. In Saint Petersburg, collective Generation Z is spotlighting its fashion and art scene, for example, while over in Poland, the trio behind Żurnal zineNico Carmandaye, Anna Maria Koronkiewicz, and Emilia Bocianowska – are aiming to shine a light on its burgeoning creative scene.

First meeting all the way back when they were in primary school, the three worked on a school newspaper, which was sadly cancelled after its first issue. After all moving to London, they decided to revive this as an output for their creativity. “We just wanted to create stuff, but nobody really wanted to publish it so we did it ourselves,” they explain.

Demonstrating a truly DIY aesthetic, given it’s created from whatever they can find lying around their flat – with the last issue printed on scrap blue paper and covered in sand – the zine is not trying to be perfect at all. In fact, the opposite is true: the images are cool in their own shit, low-fi way and everything is pretty rough around the edges. “It’s okay if things are not perfect,” they agree. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” 

While the zine started in London, it was quickly transplanted back to Poland when the group couldn’t afford to stay in the city one summer. When there, they reached out to photographers including Stanislaw Boniecki and Kuba Dabrowski to pay homage to their hometown of Białystok. “We’re really into eclecticism, we let things happen organically, but it’s usually quite DIY and we try our best to make it look effortless,” they explain. A scroll through the Instagram account reveals past shoots inspired by mushrooms, yoga, and another featuring one of their mothers as the model.

For the latest issue, the third edition, London’s mudlark community – who trawl the riverbed of the Thames with metal detectors – are spotlighted as part of one shoot, along with a hypnotist they found on YouTube. Elsewhere, a story entitled ‘Tate Modem’ sees a collection of iPhone shots from a number of artists at galleries they’ve been to over the years. There’s nothing too obscure or abstract to appear in the zine’s pages, it’s whatever mood the trio are feeling at the time. “It’s curated more like an exhibition inside a magazine, rather than traditional fashion stories,” they say.  

Despite coming from a small town in northeast Poland, the trio has never been deterred from pursuing their creative efforts. “We’ve always done questionable shoots around our hometown, we just did it for fun,” they say. “Nobody cared, but that’s the best thing, when you can just do what you want.”

Head to Żurnal’s new online store to get your hands on the new issue.

@zurnalzine