Mumbai artiste Aqui Thami on the art form that is zine making
Zines are independently published pieces of literature that were circulated underground back in the day
Artiste Aqui Thami recently conducted a workshop on zine making, for teens and adults and brought along her 10+ years of experience to one of the city’s museum. She also spoke about the various literary pieces that have been written by North Eastern women and engaged in a discussion with those present about representation and India’s relationship with the Northeastern states.
Speaking about her workshop, Thami says, “We looked at the history of zine making – from the feminist movement, and the punk culture (in the West) to the South Asian aspect of independent publishing. We will also look at why DIY is an important aspect of zine making.”
Zines are independently published pieces of literature that were circulated underground back in the day since mainstream media would not carry some information. With a history of over 170 years, zines enabled women to publish information about their feminist rallies. Musicians in the punk movement would print out their song lyrics, album concepts, concerts, etc.
Hailing from Darjeeling, West Bengal, the artiste has been living in Mumbai for more than a decade. She was attracted to the art of zine making as it allows “you to be in total control of your work. It follows the ethos of DIY — you make it, you write, draw, print, bind and then circulate it on your own as well. There is no middle person who will take any ownership of your work or change anything you’ve made. When I started out, it was an extremely exciting space for me and I loved it. I just started making zines and circulating them.”