About a week ago the 4th edition of Zine Happening organised by Les VoiZines took place in Ghent. I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a single edition and was happy to be there again. It was especially super nice to be tableing at the zine fair again with an amazing zine team that seems to increase in size each year (grouped under Creative Coffee Zinesters + 24 Hour Zine Team + FEL).
Zine Happening rocks. The organisers put up such a great event again, this time at the historical building of the museum of industry, labour and textile: Miat. There was sun, a terras in the shade, friendly zinesters, great printed treasures, workshops and talks… what else could we wish for this weekend?
The only thing I find a pity is that the great majority of publications that were sold are rather expensive and only comic/design/illustration-focused. Don’t get me wrong, I love comics and I make illustrations myself, but it would be nice to see some more variation (and a bit lower prices). What is stopping those anarchist pamphleteers and punk fanzinesters from applying for a table? This imbalance even resulted in some embarassing situations where some visitors assumed that text-heavy zines couldn’t possibly be real zines. Uhm, well, yes, they are! I know that artzines are a big part of the zine scene these days and they can be awesome but in some ways they also seem like another world to me (especially in that one of the core aspects of zines to me – “accessibility to buy AND make” – is often missing). However, as said earlier, more and more of my friends are turning to zines too and I see a rapid increase in the production of DIY/lo-fi/personal-political zines which makes me very happy.
But enough about that, let’s talk about how it was to be at this year’s zine fair: It was so nice of the organisers to put the tables of my friends and me next to each other. They made these little cards with the names of the table holders:
We had such a full double table, with plenty of zines in all colours and styles, about various subjects such as outer space, poetry, travelling, witchcraft, dancing, feminist activism, and the Spice Girls. We really are a group of zine friends now and it keeps growing. It is so nice to see. ❤ Added bonus at our table: secret ukulele music!
There was a full programme of workshops (book binding, lino printing, tetra pack etching…) and talks. I wish I could have done them all but I chose to only go to the presentation on “zine communities” because I was so tired/ill and it simply wasn’t possible to do everything anyway. The talk was done via skype with the help of a moderator. The speaker said some interesting things but the moderator misunderstood some of what the audience was saying and what zines are about. Maybe this was the first occasion he had ever come across zines? It would have been more interesting if the speaker could have directly discussed various issues with the audience I think.
There was an interesting and inspiring exhibition in another room too that included punky jackets, fun painted wooden blocks and various beautiful drawings. Besides, the museum was open for free that weekend and I recommend visiting it some time!
Taking breaks and enjoying the sun with a homemade ginger lemonade and vegan buffet and hanging out with the greatest zine gang ever:
I went home with a bunch of fresh zines and even some prints, several postcards, two badges/pins, a T-shirt with the Zine Happening logo and a real embroidered artwork by That Beard Girl! And it didn’t end there: the next day (Monday) I received some more zines in my mailbox, two parcels all the way from Australia (thanks Sea Green Zines and Slow Quest!). Yay, zines rule!