5 Homegrown Zine Collectives Shaping An Inclusive Community For Art, Dialogue & Dissent

5 Homegrown Zine Collectives Shaping An Inclusive Community For Art, Dialogue & Dissent

For time immemorial, zines have stood as a creative symbol of dissent and self-expression. These mass-replicated short publications that are often non-commercial and handmade, cover a range of unconventional themes and topics.

Over the years, India has only witnessed a spike in its emerging zine culture and has grown into a larger, more inclusive community of artists, writers and illustrators who come together to create zines on sexuality, dissent, identity, and more.

Zine creators who identify and resonate with each other’s ideas have joined forces to develop a unique subculture that is an emerging trend in major Indian cities. Homegrown takes a look at popular zine collectives that are shaping this art form in the country.

This online zine-making collective is popular for its zine-making workshops which were conducted even throughout the lockdown. They did these along with their quarterly zine publication, Kalavaram which often follows a particular theme containing zine submissions from participants. The most recent edition of Kalavaram was on the theme of shame contained prose, poetry, and graphic illustrations from participants.

Ironically named, this collective aims to amplify the voices of the marginalised sections of various communities and encourages individuals to create, publish and distribute zines as a means of expressing their challenges, experiences, and more.

This queer-run zine collective based out of New Delhi and Bombay is famous for hosting offline zine-making workshops surrounding themes such as gender, sexuality, and identity. With an aim to promote positive-queer narratives, Gaysi urges participants to come forth with ideas, pitches, and story suggestions.

Co-hosts of the Bombay Zine Fest, Bombay Zine Library is run by Himanshu S. With a legacy of over 20 years backing this small team based out of Mumbai, the team curates, circulates, and teaches the art of zine-making through extensive workshops.

Started in late 1999, Bombay Underground soon became the voice for social change. Founders Aqui Thami & Himanshu S created a liberal platform for emerging zine artists and their creations in an attempt to democratise the art form. The duo believes in meaningful activism through art and aims to keep this vision growing in the coming years.

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