Studio spaces are cheap, printing costs are economical and the sun is shining – these publications demonstrate that financial strife works in funny ways
With a new wave of independent publishing emerging from the Grecian capital, it seems the zine renaissance isn’t restricted to our own UK shores or highly showcased cities. Moving away from specific genres or high-profile zinesters, for the March edition of our monthly zine column we focus on Athens. Tracing the five magazines and zines using the printed word as their chosen medium, these are the young Grecian creatives expressing political frustrations, showcasing Grecian subculture, and providing an antidote for their country’s economic crisis.
Ruins aims to bridge Greece’s urgent political moment with visuals of great aesthetic value. Started as a fashion magazine, but in light of all the things that were happening in Greece last summer Ruins quickly evolved into a publication more about politics than clothing. ‘‘A lot of the editorials are done in Greece, using all the natural light that is unavailable in London. The magazine is a mix of both worlds, North and South,” says Christos Petritzis, editor of Ruins.
The first issue, named ‘growth euphoria crisis’, explores the place of fashion, culture and spectacle within the context of a world in recession. “The idea that our resources are running out, and the instabilities and finitude of the global capitalist system have been exposed in this process.” Petritzis continues,‘‘The fashion imagery of Ruins confronts crisis and does not want to retreat to nostalgia, which is what most fashion magazines are currently doing – referencing the aesthetics of 90s-00s market euphoria and economic stability’’.
A self-published book by a host of graphic designers, photographers, designers, DJs and the polymath called The Dreamer, Dream Colour is a multifaceted, interactive media experience. The zine comes with a goodie bag, including paper glasses, stickers, and pencils for the reader to colour in the publications pages and complete the zine themselves. Speaking of these little extras, the publications founder says, ‘‘after printing process takes place, I always keep the leftover paint as it looks like candy. I thought that putting it inside the DC goodie bag would be the best way to make the most of it. Many people have been messaging me since asking if the paint is edible or drugs.”
Kennedy is A Journal of Curiosities with a focus on anything that attracts attention. Refreshingly, there’s no real theme or concept behind the publication, with founder Chris Kontos starting Kennedy as a personal antidote to combat the Greek crisis. ‘‘After the summer holidays of 2012, virtually unemployed, and with a bank account at zero, I thought the time was right to focus all my creative efforts to a publication. It made real sense in the moment even if the idea sounded absurd’’. However Kontos is quick to dismiss the sentiment that living in Athens equates to an easier life, “I started this magazine here with an intention to help the local scene, but with time I realised that If I don’t move my business and life elsewhere my future is not looking pretty bright."
Founded by a group of best friends, Ozon is a freely distributed magazine about youth culture, celebrating ‘characters that make routine less boring’. According to Lazaros Tzovaras, OZON’s fashion editor, his home town ‘‘might seem like an upcoming city for the people who are not located in Athens. The folk character and the ‘Grecian chic’ have been transformed into a postmodern fetish. For us living here, Athens is a city that we love to hate, dirty and stimulating’’. The publication’s international edition was banned in Texas, citing a photograph in the magazine depicting a naked woman wearing a military hat, Ozon aren’t afraid to own up to their fair share of controversy.
A bi-annual publication, Dapper Dan focuses on all to do with men’s sartorial choices. ‘‘You can feel it in the air, something starts popping up. It may be that media wants to find the new Berlin. Regardless, I can see my creative friends relocating in order to benefit from the low rent and the Grecian sun’’, Vassilis Karidis, editor says. With New York Magazine’s stamp of approval, Dapper Dan injects some much needed politics into the conversation surrounding menswear.