Zines are an integral and important part of the counter-culture of any society. Anarchic in spirit and frenetic with energy, they are little journeys into the bedrooms, back yards and offices spaces of the evolving post-modern world in which live. They are more than that as well. In Mexico zines are one of many techniques that the Zapatistas have used to spread and bring attention to their struggle. In Russia their zine equivalent, the samizdat, was used to spread underground stories and tales of spying around the country . Each samizdat was printed in a handful of copies with the receiver of a copy expected to duplicate their copy, thus spreading the protest stories and oppression quickly and stealthily through the country.
As this site shows, not all zines are as overtly political as the Zapatista’s handbooks or the Russian samizdat. And not all zines are cemented in the cut n paste ethos of the punk scene. Zines can be artist books; small hand-crafted works of beauty printed in runs of ten, twenty, fifty, or one. Zines can come in envelopes, as postcards, in a fold-out map that can be used as a board game, or even in a cup, as I have seen myself. They can be essay writing, fiction, comics, prose and photo collages, montages, letters to friends, complete fabricated stories or completely political pieces.
And that is what this site Zine.undergrowth is – a curation of the best zines from around Australia for your visual and mind pleasure.
Each zine included here has a replica of its front cover, a sample of the work itself and contact details for the creator(s). There are also coming features on Octapod, highlighting the zine library that the crew up there in Newcastle have collected over the past decade, and a short piece on Sticky based here in Melbourne the place from which one can start building their own little zine collection.
Remember keep creating those little nodes of visual engagement!
To contact the Undergrowth zine editor, email: zines(a)undergrowth.org