Zines originated in the science fiction fandoms of the 1930s, deriving their name from the word ‘fanzine’; an abbreviation of ‘fan magazine’. Long before the internet made connecting with people around the world easier, fans used zines to create networks, share ideas and analyses, and collaborate on writing and artwork. And after the counterculture movements in the 1950s and 1960s, Zines became a vital entity of the underground press; allowing marginalized voices to express themselves beyond the constraints of mainstream media.
Bombay Underground has been keeping that culture alive since 1999 by standing for creative social change. Aqui Thami and Himanshu S, who together run Bombay Underground and the Dharavi Art room, have provided a platform for the collection and distribution of independent publications and zines for over two decades now. They have been collecting zines from zinesters, distros, and movements for years and established the Bombay Zine Library to cater to this niche. In 2017, they also launched Mumbai’s first Zine Fest and have been holding it every year since.
The first Zine Fest gathered some brilliant contemporary works like Aqui’s ‘periods’ — first-hand narrations of experiences of periods by many women, Sameer Kulavoor’s ‘xerox wallah’, some gender-queer skate zines, a bunch of mini-zines made by the kids from Dharavi Art Room and multiple fanzines about Patti Smith, Che Guevara, Savitri Bai Phule and Bhagat Singh. The response to the annual Zine Fest has only gotten bigger and this year, it’s back with its 5th edition.
Bombay Zine Fest 2022 is happening on October 14 from 5 to 9 pm,and on October 15 & 16 from 12 noon to 9 pm at Harkat Studios.
Some amazing Zine makers that you get to meet at the fest this year are Manasi Patankar, Vipul S Kumar, Dimple Solanki, Malvi Konga and many more. Make sure you don’t miss this celebration of collaborative art and activism.
You can find more information here.