Zinester slide show
The Libary recently showed off our collection of Zines
23 April 2014
On Saturday 22nd March, the Fire up the Carousel: a zinester slide show organised by the Canberra Zine Emporium (CZE) was held just outside The Cupping Room in Canberra and featured 10 presentations from zinesters, distros, a hacker and more.
The Cupping Room was a wonderful venue, (yummy food and drinks), and hosting the event outside meant that passers-by could stop and join the audience lounging on the grass, which gave the event an extra-relaxed and friendly vibe.
So, what is a zine and why were NLA staff members present at this event? Well, zines tend to be small underground publications, usually no more than 20 pages, that are produced for personal rather than financial reasons. They can cover any topic or genre, or be a mix of completely different and random concepts.
As an ephemeral medium, zines are rarely collected and preserved the way other documents are. This is one of the reasons that the Library is so committed to collecting and preserving them for the future. The zines we collect range from the most handcrafted to the more commercial – in a range of subjects. They are fully catalogued just like other material held by the Library. We try to collect a variety of styles to reflect the creative ideas of zinesters, and focus on subjects that are topical or socio-political, or zines that are produced after major events. Many zines are also anti-establishment and deliberately seek to provoke or shock their audience.
Zines are often traded among creators, or sold at house shows, zine events or by zine distros. So Library staff try to attend these events, particularly those held locally in Canberra. In addition to the fun of browsing the tables and talking to the stall holders, it can give us the chance to talk to the creator (or friend or associate of the creator) as well. By talking to zinesters we can become aware of any new distros that pop up, a new title to look out for, or a community that is producing zines.
So we were delighted to be invited by the CZE to participate in Fire up the Carousel. NLA staff Kristen and Elaine gave a 6 minute, 40 second presentation (known as a "Pecha Kucha") about the weird and wonderful things to be found in the library’s collection.
Although all the presentations were wonderful (at least, we hope ours was good!), the two standouts for both Kristen and Elaine were Safdar from the Refugee Art Project, and Robert from the Australian Typewriter Museum.
Safdar’s slide show was an incredibly moving account of the refugees held in Villawood Detention Centre, who use the Refugee Art Project as a creative and emotional outlet.
Robert’s slide show was a brief and fascinating history of the typewriter – we wished that he could have gone on for three times as long!
A great big thanks goes to Nat and the rest of the lovely CZE people for organising such a fun night – we hope to see you all next year!
Thanks to Gary Bulluss for taking great photos at night and outdoors.
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