Amber over at Culture Slut recently posted an exchange she had with a UK academic working on a book on zine culture in the US/UK called FANZINES (Thames & Hudson), that’s worth taking a look at for the prof’s cavalier means of citing her sources.

There seem to be other folks who’ve had sketchy or after the fact reprint-permission contact with the author, which makes me wonder how many other people’s work is in the book who just don’t know it yet, because the author claims they were difficult (or maybe “difficult”) to track down.

I recognize that zines are a marginal form of publishing, often non-commercial, and there are some people who are just happy to see information disseminated and shrug at free use of their work, but to assume that folks will just happy with the thrill of seeing their zines referenced or shown in a book – possibly without citation, or with incorrect citation / contact info – is infuriating to me. Especially in the context of this being art and writing from marginal, dispersed communities! Triggs seems like she’s flouting all concerns with ownership to get a book published with the expectation that folks are too broke, far apart, disengaged with legal systems or issues of copyright, or young (or that the nature of the form is too ephemeral) to pose a threat to its publication. She couldn’t have been too concerned with the threat of lawsuit or other recourse.

I want our work as zine makers and independent publishers to be catalogued, studied, preserved and celebrated by people both within and outside of our communities, but I want those things to happen with respect to the people who made the work happen, as opposed to treating zine culture(s) as what physically *made* individual zines / acting like the work is generated by an anonymous void that wants to remain faceless.


One thought on “On FANZINES

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