Remains to be zine: Mumbai’s first zine fest is here | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Remains to be zine: Mumbai’s first zine fest is here

Join this celebration of self-published and DIY comics and literature.

art and culture Updated: Jan 14, 2017 13:53 IST
Pankti Mehta Kadakia
The Chapess, which showcases works by women writers around the world, is one of 140 zines being showcased at the Bombay Zine Fest.
The Chapess, which showcases works by women writers around the world, is one of 140 zines being showcased at the Bombay Zine Fest.

Thumb through stories of communist playwright Safdar Hashmi, stacked against tales of the city’s faceless xeroxwallahs. See pages filled in by children of marginalised communities, or by dire fans of singer Patti Smith. Whether your interests lean towards Bhagat Singh or street fashion, the first edition of the Bombay Zine Fest has a range of subjects to browse through.

A travelling exhibition kicks off the festival this weekend in Mumbai, showcasing about 140 zines from creators in India, Spain, England, the US, Australia and beyond.

For the uninitiated, a ‘zine’ is a self-published collection of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced using a photocopier, local printing press or just pen-and-paper. Historically, zines were to be shared from person to person. It’s meant to be independent, small-scale and raw, as opposed to a commercial, glossy magazine.

“I have been making zines on various subjects for many years and we have formed a small community,” says Bombay Zine Fest co-founder Himanshu S, who is also the co-founder of Bombay Underground, an art collective. “Through an exchange of ideas, skills, discussions and workshops, the Bombay Zine Fest hopes to foster a slightly competitive, queer-friendly, ethnic-rich community of creation, and to nourish the expansion of zine culture.”

Zines are original, self-published collections reproduced by photocopiers. Bombay Zine Fest is organised by Himanshu S and Aqui Thami of Bombay Underground, in collaboration with Dharavi Art Room.

Read: 10 zines you should be reading right now

He says that it is a great place to learn new techniques, get inspired by other creators and connect with other artists and writers involved with accessible media. Those on display showcase themes such as anarchy, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, experiences of women on their period, a ‘genderqueer’ skate zine, one about missed opportunities, and so on.

The festival, organised by Himanshu S and Aqui Thami, also a co-founder of Bombay Underground, is a collaboration between the art collective and the Dharavi Art Room.

The exhibition will travel to Kochi next month, and to Pune and Bengaluru later. Visitors can contribute to a collaborative zine too. The goal is to visit schools, colleges, libraries, community centres, “and anyone else who will have us,” HImanshu adds. “Zines are a great way to get a conversation going, and can lead to large-scale community change.”

Read: This cute zine on saris highlights the various associations we have with the garment

What: Bombay Zine Fest, a festival to showcase and promote zine culture

When: Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon to 9 pm

Where: Underground Bookhouse, Garage No 5, Luisa CHS, St John Baptist Road, Bandra (West)

Entry is free