Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) is calling on the zine-making community to help expand its collection of eclectic self-published books.
The school’s Learning Commons currently has a small, informal collection of zines (short for magazines) that were made by students of Visual Arts instructor Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea. With other libraries and post-secondary intuitions in North America now creating dedicated zine collections and hosting zine fairs, the MIWSFPA decided to do the same.
Brock Visual Arts graduate Victoria Reid, is spearheading a project to catalogue the zines and gather donations alongside the school’s Learning Commons Co-ordinator, Lesley Bell.
“I’m excited to be working on this because I think it’s something we’re going to see popping up in a lot more libraries,” said Reid, who will be studying library and information science in the fall. “A lot of people have become really excited about zines in the past year.”
Zines can be traced back to the early 1930s, experiencing their peak popularity through counter-culture movements and the punk music scene of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
The publications, which come in a variety of styles, sizes and cover a range of subject matter, are seeing a resurgence again today and students are embracing the chance to self-publish their ideas.
“Making and sharing zines is all about sharing your opinion without being filtered and being able to self-publish on your own terms,” explained Reid, who has made a few zines herself. “They are all about freedom of thought and the free sharing of ideas.”
The small-circulation, self-published periodicals are often traded for little to no money and vary from micro-sized journal-style publications, with hand-stitched bindings, to large, glossy art books.
Students and the public can donate their zines and Reid and Bell stressed there will be no restrictions on the zines they will accept. They are encouraging those in disciplines outside of the arts and humanities to participate, as well.
“Anybody can make a zine and it’s important to not put a box around what we’re accepting and what we’re not,” said Reid. “It’s also a good tie between the main and downtown Brock campuses because it encourages people from other programs to create their work and show it here. I’d love to see people from other programs submit things to us.”
There will be a grand opening celebration for the collection hosted in the MIWSFPA Learning Commons on Aug. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. in room 226.
Everyone is welcome to attend and try their hand at making buttons and a zine of their own.
“There’s something attractive and energetic about publishing your own thing,” said Bell. “You are really going to experience something between those covers, it’s about discovery.”
The opening will also serve as an informal goodbye to Bell, who is retiring from her long-standing post with Brock at the end of August.
If you are interested in donating a zine, please visit the grand opening event’s Facebook page to download a donation form. You can also drop your zine donation off at the Learning Commons between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.